The U.S. Navy has verified that the pilot of the F/A-18E Super Hornet involved in the accident on July 31 died in the crash.
The pilot of a Super Hornet was declared dead Wednesday when the fighter plane crashed into a ravine wall in California’s Death Valley, at a spot generally known as Star Wars Canyon, during a regular training flight.
According to the Department of Defense policy, the identification of the pilot will be withheld until 24 hours following information of next of family.
At approximately 10 a.m. PST on July 31, an F/A-18E Super Hornet elected to the ‘Vigilantes’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, crashed roughly 40 miles north of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake. The jet was on a routine training activity in the region at the time. The crash is currently under investigation.
“The Navy bewails the loss of one of our own, and our condolences are with the family and friends moved by this tragedy,” stated in a statement.
Star Wars Canyon is a famous spot for vacationers and photographers to watch navy planes weave through desert ravines at a high pace.
National park visitors told a news station that the jet crashed into the canyon wall while flying at high speed, sending billowing smoke into the air and shrapnel flying into a crowd around. The portion of Death Valley National Park where the crash happened remained closed to visitors Thursday afternoon, based on a notification on the park’s website.