Marine Pilot Ejects as Jet Crashes in Mojave Desert

A Marine Corps jet fighter has crashed in the Southern California desert, but the pilot escaped injury.

The F/A-18 Hornet crashed and burned shortly after 6 p.m. Tuesday near the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms.

Marine First Lt. John Roberts tells the Riverside Press-Enterprise that the pilot ejected without injuries but was taken to a hospital as a precaution.

Roberts says first indications that the plane already had touched down when the accident occurred.

The sprawling base is in the Mojave Desert, about 140 miles east of Los Angeles.

In July, another twin-engine Hornet went down during a training mission at the base, killing the pilot.

In August, a Hornet made an emergency landing after a warning light alerted the pilot to a possible fire. The problem was traced to a seal failure that tripped on-board sensors.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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