News Release

U.S. Navy Super Hornet Crashed in Death Valley National Park

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Date: October 5, 2021
Contact: Naval Air Forces, 619-767-1623
Contact: Abby Wines (NPS), 760-786-3221

By Commander, Naval Air Forces Public Affairs

SAN DIEGO – An F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed in Death Valley National Park, California, at approximately 3 p.m., October 4, 2021. The pilot was treated for minor injuries at Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, and released later that night.

The aircraft was assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron (VX) 9 based at Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake. 

Search and rescue 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 and rescued the pilot.

No civilians were harmed as a result of this incident. The aircraft crashed in a remote area in southern Death Valley National Park. The National Park Service and Navy will work together to coordinate cleanup of this Wilderness area.

This incident is currently under investigation and the U.S. Navy is cooperating fully with local authorities.

Last updated: October 5, 2021

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