A U.S. Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 81 based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Oceana, Va., impacted the water during an approach to the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier Wednesday night. The jet was flying off the coast of Southern California.
“The pilot ejected from the aircraft, was recovered safely and is currently aboard Carl Vinson in stable condition,” the Navy said in a press statement. The F/A-18E Super Hornet has not been recovered. All remaining airborne aircraft were safely diverted to NAS North Island in Coronado, Calif. All air operations have ceased aboard Carl Vinson until further notice.
A safety investigation will be carried out to determine the cause of the mishap, Navy officials said.
The Carl Vinson and Carrier Air Wing 17 are currently conducting a Joint Task Force Exercise (JTFEX). JTFEX is designed to test a strike group's ability to operate in hostile and complex environments with other U.S. and coalition forces. The integrated exercise combines specific warfare areas with the purpose of making preparations for the strike group's upcoming deployment.