F-18 jet crashes in Kern County, California; pilot ejects safely

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A U.S. Navy fighter jet crashed in southern California on Tuesday, a U.S. defense official tells Fox News. 

The pilot of the single-seat Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet was able to eject and is currently listed as stable at a local hospital.  The crash occurred near Naval Air Station China Lake, Calif., 113 miles east of Bakersfield, where the Navy conducts live-fire training. 

 

The crash was at around 10:20 a.m. The pilot took off from Naval Air Station Lemoore in Kings County when the plane "experienced a mishap" during routine flight training, according to a social media post from the base. 

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Calls to the air station from Fox News were not returned. 

The pilot's parachute opened during the ejection, and a small grass fire followed the crash, KGET reported.

The Navy is cooperating with local authorities, officials said. 

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