Super hornet fighter jet crashes and burns outside Naval Air Station Lemoore

A training flight took a dangerous turn at Naval Air Station Lemoore Monday afternoon when an F/A-18E Super Hornet hit the ground, and burst into flames, in the middle of a dirt field.

It was a very close call for the pilot who was forced to eject moments before the jet crashed and burned.

“We could have been seconds away from a tragedy,” Captain Ashliman told ABC30. “It’s definitely a subdued environment but we remain confident in mission capability.”

An eyewitness captured cell phone video of the crash site — outside Fresno, California — a few miles away from a runway on base. Flames and thick, black smoke shot out into the sky, as the camera rolled.

Commanding officer at the base, Captain Ashliman, said only one fighter pilot was on board and ejected in mid-air, parachuting to the ground.  Thankfully, the pilot got out of the jet safely before it crashed, and is in good condition.

The aircraft however is now just a burned out shell, after the training mission gone wrong. The multi-million dollar jet is a loss for Air Station Lemoore, the Captain said.

The pilot’s name or squadron have not been released.  It’s not clear what caused the crash, but when the smoke clears training will continue on the base.

No word how long the investigation into the cause will take.



  • Michele graduated with a B.S. in Telecommunication from the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications. She has spent numerous years working in the news industry in south Florida, including many positions ranging from being a news writer at WSVN, the Fox affiliate in Miami to being an associate news producer at WPLG-TV, the ABC affiliate in Miami. Michele has also worked in Public Relations and Marketing.

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