2 Navy jets collide in Pacific; 1 pilot rescued, search underway for another

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An F/A-18 Hornet assigned to the Blue Blasters of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 34, lands on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN 76) on November 3, 2013.. Ronald Reagan and the embarked Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 are underway conducting carrier qualifications.

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Two U.S. fighter jets collided over the western Pacific Ocean on Thursday while operating at sea, a Navy official told CNN on Friday.

Two F/A-18 Hornets that were operating aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson crashed in the western Pacific, the Navy said earlier.

“Initial reports indicate the two jets collided,” the Navy official said.

One pilot was rescued and is in fair condition while being treated aboard the aircraft carrier. There was a search under way for the other pilot, the Navy said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, the Navy said. The jets have not been recovered.

The two jets crashed about 290 miles (470 kilometers) west of Wake Island, Navy 7th Fleet spokeswoman Lt. Lauren Cole told CNN. Wake Island is more than 2,400 miles west of Hawaii.

Both jets are from Carrier Air Wing 17, the Navy said, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 94 and Strike Fighter Squadron 113.

A Navy cruiser, a destroyer and helicopters have been deployed in the search for the missing pilot, the Navy said.

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