(SAN DIEGO) — The U.S. Navy called off its search for a missing pilot on Saturday, one day after two fighter jets crashed in the Western Pacific.
Crews rescued one of the pilots Friday, but ended the efforts after searching for more than 36 hours. Using helicopters, surveillance aircraft, and four ships, teams were unsuccessful in locating missing pilot, who is presumed dead.
“This is an exceptionally difficult time for the friends and family of the missing pilot and the Navy community,” said Rear Adm. Christopher Grady, Commander, Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group. “We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of support from the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragedy.”
The two F/A-18C aircraft had launched from the flight deck of USS Carl Vinson and were in the process of heading to their initial stations when they collided approximately seven miles from the ship, officials said.
The cause of the incident remains under investigation.
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