Navy pilot killed in Death Valley fighter jet crash

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Posted at 12:56 PM, Aug 01, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-01 15:56:12-04

(KGTV) - The U.S. Navy said it has confirmed the death of the pilot in the crash of a fighter jet in the California desert.

The single-seat F/A-18E Super Hornet crashed Wednesday morning in a canyon in Death Valley National Park where military aircraft conduct low-level training in an area known as Star Wars Canyon.

Seven French tourists on the ground were treated for minor cuts and burns they suffered when they were hit by shrapnel.

The Navy says the cause of the crash remains under investigation.

The aircraft belonged to Strike Fighter Squadron VFA-151 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California's Central Valley.

The Navy said in a statement Thursday that the pilot's identity will be withheld until 24 hours after notification of next of kin in accordance with Defense Department policy.