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Fri, Jun 13, 2008

Two Navy Aircraft Down Near NAS Fallon

One Pilot Killed, Two Injured

ANN REALTIME UPDATE 06.13.08 2325 EDT: Navy officials confirmed late Friday the pilot of an F/A-18C Hornet was killed when his jet collided with an F-5 Tiger earlier that day.

NAS Fallon spokesman Jeffrey Wells told The Associated Press the pilot was based at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, VA. His identity has not been released.

The two pilots who ejected from the Tiger are reported in stable condition at a hospital in Fallon, NV, under treatment for minor injuries stemming from the ejection.

The aircraft collided just after 1200 local time near Middlegate, about 110 miles east of Reno. Local resident Travis Anderton saw the aircraft just before they collided.

"Then I heard a crash, looked up and saw them coming out of the sky, falling," he told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "Then it was smoke and you couldn't see any more."

The F/A-18 is the US Navy's primary air supremacy fighter aircraft. The Vietnam-era F-5 is often used in training exercises, often playing the role of an aggressor aircraft.

Original Report

1815 EDT: Two US Navy aircraft -- an F-5 Tiger, and an F/A-18C Hornet -- crashed Friday afternoon near Naval Air Station Fallon in Nevada, according to local news sources.

Two people ejected from the F-5, and were transported to a local hospital. Search crews have not yet located the Hornet, nor its sole pilot. NOTAM 8/2467 is in effect over the area for recovery operations.

Both aircraft came down about 50 miles east of the town of Fallon, at approximately 1215 PDT. Early reports indicate the planes crashed in different locations... leading to the assumption the downings were not the result of a midair collision, though that remains unconfirmed at this time.

An NAS Fallon spokesman told KRNV-4 the two planes were part of a military training exercise.

FMI: www.navy.mil

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