Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Pair Of F/A-18s Crash In Western Pacific Ocean, U.S. Navy Says

F/A-18 fighter jets on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in Hong Kong in 2011.
Kin Cheung
F/A-18 fighter jets on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in Hong Kong in 2011.

The U.S. Navy says two of its carrier-based fighter/attack jets have crashed in the western Pacific Ocean. One pilot has been rescued and search efforts were continuing for the second.

The cause of the incident, which occurred early Friday and involved F/A-18 Hornets from Carrier Air Wing 17 aboard the aircraft carrier (CVN 70), was still being investigated, the Navy said in a statement.

According to the statement:

"The initial report is that the two aircraft are assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 94 (VFA-94) and Strike Fighter Squadron 113 (VFA-113).

"One pilot was rapidly located and returned to Carl Vinson, and is currently receiving medical attention. Search efforts continue for the second pilot.

"The search for the second pilot includes guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) and helicopters assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 (HSC 15) and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73 (HSM 73).

"The two F/A-18C Hornets have not been recovered."

Note: We've changed the photo caption, originally supplied by The Associated Press, to delete a reference to the figure in the center being a U.S. Marine. As several of our readers have commented, the serviceman shown appears in fact to be a U.S. Navy sailor.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit

Scott Neuman is a reporter and editor, working mainly on breaking news for NPR's digital and radio platforms.
To make informed decisions, the public must receive unbiased truth.

As Southwestern Pennsylvania’s only independent public radio news and information station, we give voice to provocative ideas that foster a vibrant, informed, diverse and caring community.

WESA is primarily funded by listener contributions. Your financial support comes with no strings attached. It is free from commercial or political influence…that’s what makes WESA a free vital community resource. Your support funds important local journalism by WESA and NPR national reporters.

You give what you can, and you get news you can trust.
Please give now to continue providing fact-based journalism — a monthly gift of just $5 or $10 makes a big difference.