See my 36 Photos
Occupation: Air Mechanic
|#3441 2008-12-31 GMT-5 hours|
A Marine fighter jet crashed Monday about a mile short of a runway at an eastern North Carolina air base, killing the pilot, a Marine Corps spokesman said.
The single-seat plane was returning to the base after a training flight when it crashed about 12:30 p.m. in an unpopulated area, Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point spokesman Mike Barton said. No one else was hurt, Barton said.
Local authorities say the crash, about a mile east of the base off N.C. Highway 101, did not affect the few homes in the area.
The pilot's identity was being withheld until next-of-kin was notified and an investigation had begun, Barton said. The AV-8B Harrier jet was assigned to Marine Attack Training Squadron 203.
Another Harrier crashed in February near Cherry Point, but the pilot wasn't injured. In May, a two-seat training model of the Harrier crashed in Arizona, but the pilots ejected safely.
Monday's crash comes the same month that a Marine jet crashed in a San Diego neighborhood near its base, killing four people on the ground.
WNCT-TV in Greenville reported that a hunter nearby said the jet was making an odd noise and belching smoke and flames before it crashed.
RIP to the pilot, condolences to the family, hard to lose someone, especially this time of year.