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U.S. Investigates Fighter Jet Crash

BY Admin  April 3, 2003 at 10:15 AM EDT

Central Command said in a statement released late Wednesday, ”A coalition F/A-18C, a single-seat aircraft, went down at approximately 3:45 p.m. EST today [11:45 p.m. in Iraq] during ongoing coalition air operations in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.”

The Hornet, a single-seat jet, was based on the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk, which has been in the Persian Gulf since late February.

Combat search and rescue teams were scouring the area where the jet went down, but there was no immediate word on the fate of the pilot.

“While the coalition does not discuss the details of ongoing recovery operations, we are committed to accounting for all coalition personnel,” the statement from CentCom said. “The name of the pilot is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.”

The supersonic jet conducts a series of missions including suppression of enemy air defenses, reconnaissance, close and deep air support, and day and night strike missions.