F/A-18C jet crashes off Japan, efforts to recover pilot underway
WASHINGTON — A Marine Corps F/A-18C Hornet fighter jet crashed Wednesday off the coast of Japan, the service said in a statement.
The jet was conducting a training flight about 120 miles southeast of Iwakuni at about 6:40 p.m. local Japan time when the pilot ejected.
The jet that crashed had been paired with another F/A-18C for the training flight. The second jet remained above the crash site until fuel concerns forced the pilot to leave, said Navy Capt. Jeff Davis, a Pentagon spokesman.
A search and rescue operation was underway with multiple U.S. and Japanese surface ships looking for the pilot, who as of midday Wednesday had not been found.
Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Robert Neller, speaking at a defense forum in Washington, D.C., told reporters that the news of another Hornet crash was disturbing.
“It's not exactly what I wanted to hear when I got up this morning, particularly about the pilot,” he said. “Hopefully we will be able to recover him or her.”
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