Harrier Jet Crashes into California Neighborhood

** Harrier jet
(Photo: Lance Cpl. Graham J. Benson)**

An AV-8B Harrier jet from the Third Marine Aircraft Wing based at the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma crashed yesterday afternoon into a neighborhood in Imperial, California.

According to a press release issued by the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, the pilot ejected safely prior to the crash and no one on the ground was hurt. There was, however, major property damage to three homes, and eight families had to be evacuated as a result of the post-crash fire.

This is the third Harrier jet from the Yuma Marine station to crash in the past two years. The last accident occurred in May when a pilot ejected and the airplane crashed in the desert near the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona.

The cost of an AV-8B Harrier was around $30 million when the VTOL jet was taken out of production about a decade ago.

Authorities are investigating the cause of the crash.

Also, last night a Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet crashed while on approach for landing to the carrier USS Carl Vinson off the coast of Southern California. The pilot ejected and was recovred in good condition.

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Pia Bergqvist joined FLYING in December 2010. A passionate aviator, Pia started flying in 1999 and quickly obtained her single- and multi-engine commercial, instrument and instructor ratings. After a decade of working in general aviation, Pia has accumulated almost 3,000 hours of flight time in nearly 40 different types of aircraft.

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