Pilot Ejects from Harrier Before Crashing in Felicity California
FELICITY, CA - A Pilot ejects from an AV-8B harrier that crashed in Felicity California Wednesday afternoon.
Capt. Staci Reidinger from Marine Core Air Station Yuma says "Approximately 3:30 P.M. we had a Harrier Aircraft go down. It's about 15 miles NW of MCAS Yuma. They were doing training exercises between the Air Station and the Chocolate Mountains Aerial gunnery range here in California"
Capt. Reidinger says military police and local authorities blocked off the area while they searched for two live bombs that were on the air craft.
She says these two 500 lb bombs are used during combat in areas like Afghanistan and has an impact range of a 1 mile radius and that's why they have encouraged the evacuation of all nearby residents.
Capt. Reidinger says "We are going to disarm them with hour explosive ordinance team from the air station and move them to a safe location, a disposal site where we bring those."
Capt. Reidinger says despite the crash the pilot ejected safely with a parachute. She says the harrier pilot is from Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 based out of MCAS Cherry Point North Carolina. She says he was transported by MCAS search and rescue to Yuma Regional Medical Center where he's being evaluated.
Capt. Reidinger tells News 13, "We think that he will be fine. Initially when he first ejected and landed he was able to make a cell phone call to tell the command what had happened and that he was coherent." Capt. Reidinger says another harrier pilot was also flying with him in a separate air craft and also notified officials of what was going on.
Reidinger says on behalf of the VMAT 203 executive officer he is grateful the pilot landed safely and made the wise decision to land in a more desolate area. She says, "He really wants the community to know their going to do everything they can right now. He's working in partnership with MCAS Yuma to ensure the ordinance is found and the crash site is cleaned up and taken care of."
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