Officials: Pilot ejected before crash near base

Posted at 8:39 PM, Sep 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-21 23:39:22-04

Authorities say the pilot of a plane that crashed near a Central California military base ejected in midair and safely parachuted to the ground.

Kings County Fire Chief Bill Lynch tells The Sentinel newspaper in Hanford that the pilot walked to emergency responders after reaching the ground Monday afternoon.

The newspaper reports that the plane was an F-18 fighter jet.

California Highway Patrol Officer Scott Jobinger says it went down in a dirt field about 3 miles from Lemoore Naval Air Station.

Jobinger says a fire from the crash has been extinguished, and no roads have been closed.

Lemoore Naval Air Station, about 45 miles south of Fresno, is a center for the Navy's West Coast FA-18 fighter jet operations.