Navy Jet Crashes in Death Valley, Pilot Ejects Safely

By The Associated Press
The Associated Press
The Associated Press
October 6, 2021 Updated: October 6, 2021

DEATH VALLEY NATIONAL PARK, Calif.—A Navy jet fighter crashed in Death Valley National Park and the pilot ejected and was treated for minor injuries, authorities said Tuesday.

The F/A-18F Super Hornet went down at about 3 p.m. Monday. It was assigned to nearby Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9, based at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, a Navy statement said.

The crash was in a remote southern area of the park in California’s Mojave Desert near the Nevada border and nobody on the ground was hurt.

The pilot was treated at a hospital in Las Vegas and released, the Navy said.

The crash was under investigation.

On July 31, 2019, another Navy Super Hornet crashed in Death Valley National Park during a routine training mission, killing the pilot and slightly injuring seven park visitors who were struck by debris.

They had gathered at a scenic overlook about 160 miles where aviation enthusiasts watch military pilots speeding low through a chasm dubbed Star Wars Canyon, officials said.

Last October, a F/A-18E Super Hornet from Naval Air Station Lemoore in California’s Central Valley went down during a training mission in the Mojave Desert but the pilot safely ejected.