US Navy jet crashes in Death Valley; pilot safely ejects

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The pilot of a U.S. Navy fighter jet survived this week after crashing in California’s Death Valley National Park, Navy officials said Tuesday. 

The F/A-18F Super Hornet went down at around 3 p.m. Monday in a remote area of the park, a Navy statement read. 

The unidentified pilot, who safely ejected from the aircraft, was treated for minor injuries at a Las Vegas hospital and was released later that night. 

An F/A-18F Super Hornet launches from the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Dwight D. Eisenhower March 27, 2007 in the Persian Gulf. (Getty Images)

“No civilians were harmed as a result of this incident,” the Navy statement added. “The National Park Service and Navy will work together to coordinate cleanup of this Wilderness area.”

The aircraft was assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9 based at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake – located in the Mojave Desert about 150 miles northeast of downtown Los Angeles. 

The Navy has used the installation since the 1940s for missile and rocket development, Stars and Stripes reported. 

The incident is currently under investigation and the Navy says it is cooperating with local authorities.

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