Pilot Injured as U.S. Fighter Jet Crashes in Death Valley National Park

A Navy pilot has been injured after an F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed in Death Valley National Park, California.

The Navy said in a press release that the crash happened at around 3 p.m. on October 4 in a remote area.

No civilians were harmed as a result of the crash.

The pilot, whose rank and name have not been released, only suffered minor injuries after he was able to eject from the aircraft, reported Stars and Stripes.

Search-and0rescue units from NAWS China Lake, Fort Irwin Army Base, and Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron (MAWTS) 1 from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma responded to the scene of the crash and rescued the pilot.

The pilot was sent for treatment at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, following the crash, and was released later that night.

The incident is currently under investigation and the military is working with the National Park Service in order to clean up the crash site.

The aircraft had been assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9 based at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, the Navy said.

A spokesperson for the Death Valley National Park told Newsweek: "Since the first minutes after the crash happened, the Navy has been in communication and consultation with NPS staff in Death Valley National Park.

"We appreciate their concern for the park's resources and look forward to continued collaboration as the cleanup progresses."

In July 2019, a pilot of an F/A-18E Super Hornet died after crashing in Death Valley National Park.

Lt. Charles Walker, 33, was on a routine training mission over a canyon around 40 miles north of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake when the crash occurred.

The National Park Service reported that seven people also suffered minor injuries as a result of the crash. The Navy found the aircraft impacted against the side of the canyon wall during low altitude training, according to a review seen by USNI.

"The NAS Lemoore aviation family is grieving the loss of one of our own," Capt. James Bates, commander of Strike Fighter Wing Pacific said in a statement after the pilot had been identified.

"Lt. Walker was an incredible naval aviator, husband and son. He was an integral member of the Vigilante family and his absence will be keenly felt on this flight line. Our aviators understand the risk associated with this profession and they knowingly accept it in service to our nation.

"The untimely loss of a fellow aviator and shipmate pains us all. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends."

The Super Hornet Walker flew was assigned to the "Vigilantes" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, California.

F/A-18F Super Hornet  crash
A U.S. Navy "Super Hornet" takes off April 8, 2000 from the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast of Southern California. A pilot has been injured after an F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed in Death Valley National Park, California Getty Images

Update 10/06: This article has been updated to include comment from Death Valley National Park.