Military investigations underway after two non-fatal warplane crashes


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Military investigators are underway into what caused two non-fatal warplane crashes within hours of each other.


Shortly before 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, a Yuma-stationed Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier flying to Miramar started having difficulties and requested emergency landing at Imperial County Airport.


Before the pilot could land, the plane began to spiral out of control. He ejected safely as his plane plowed into three homes, setting them on fire and causing the evacuation of a total of 8 homes in the neighborhood according to military officials.


About 5 ½ hours later, a Navy FA-18E Super Hornet plunged into the ocean off the coast of San Diego.


In Imperial, local authorities and military personnel are conducting clean up, while organizations such as Red Cross, are supplying housing and needed articles for day-to-day existence.


The Navy fighter jet that went into the ocean had been attempting a landing approach to the Coronado-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, according to the Pacific Fleet officials.


The jet has not been recovered.


Due to the crash of the Hornet, all aircraft previously scheduled to land aboard the Carl Vinson were rerouted until further notice to Naval air Station North Island in Coronado, the home port of the ship, according to ABC News.


The Carl Vinson is the same aircraft carrier that was used to bury Osama bin Laden at sea in May 2011 and is currently off the coast of Southern California conducting training exercises.


The crash in Imperial was the second of its kind in less than a month involving a Yuma-based Harrier.


On May 9, 2014, one of the subsonic aircraft went down in an unpopulated area of Gila Indian Reservation, 40 miles southeast of Phoenix. The pilot successfully ejected to safety there, too.


The British-developed Harrier, known for being able to take off and land vertically, giving it the moniker “Jump Jet,” is being is being phased out after being used since the late 1970’s.