A US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet jet crashed Wednesday in the California desert and a search-and-rescue operation was underway, officials said. The single-seat warplane went down at 9:50am during a routine training mission north of the Naval Air Weapons Station at China Lake, a remote expanse of the Mojave Desert, said Lt. Cmdr. Lydia Bock, spokeswoman for Naval Air Station Lemoore in California's Central Valley. "The status of the pilot is unknown at this time," Bock said about four hours after the crash, per the AP.
The jet was from strike fighter squadron VFA-151 stationed at Lemoore. The squadron is part of an air group attached to the aircraft carrier USS John C. Stennis. The Super Hornet is a twin-engine warplane designed to fly from either aircraft carriers or ground bases on both air-superiority and ground-attack missions. China Lake is about 120 miles north of Los Angeles.
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