An F-14D Tomcat fighter jet crashed into the ocean off the San Diego coast Sunday during training exercises, killing its two occupants, a Navy spokesman said.
Part of Fighter Squadron 11, based at the Miramar Naval Air Station, the aircraft had been at the end of a two-week mission aboard the nuclear aircraft carrier Carl Vinson, said Doug Sayers, a spokesman at the base.
No cause has been determined for the 12:30 p.m. crash, about 120 miles out to sea, Sayers said. The victims' names were not released pending the notification of next of kin.
"They were flying off the carrier doing routine training," Sayers said. "I do not know precisely what they were doing."
That area off the coast is used for a variety of exercises, he said, including supersonic ranges and missile shoots.
The last mishap involving a jet from Fighter Squadron 11 occurred on Feb. 22, 1994, about 900 miles southwest of San Diego, when two aviators bailed out of the same type of craft involved in Sunday's incident. The jet crashed into the ocean and the crew members suffered minor injuries.
Sunday's crash was the 31st involving an F-14 jet since 1991.
In January, a different model Navy F-14 returning home to Miramar slammed into a Nashville, Tenn., neighborhood shortly after takeoff. Two crew members and three people on the ground were killed.
The aircraft's unit, Fighter Squadron 213, regained its flight status Wednesday following a safety stand-down. But the squadron's commander, Fred Kilian, has been relieved of his command because of its poor safety record.