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The State

Navy Jet Crashes Off San Diego

Two crew members eject and are rescued after their F-14D develops engine problems.

March 30, 2004|Deborah Schoch | Times Staff Writer

SAN DIEGO — A Navy fighter jet experienced engine problems and plunged into the Pacific Ocean on Monday, but the two crew members ejected and were rescued, Navy officials said.

The cause of the accident is under investigation.

The two-seat F-14D Tomcat was on a training mission when it crashed about 11 a.m. about two miles west of Point Loma. The jet, from Fighter Squadron 31 based at the Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia, had taken off from the aircraft carrier John C. Stennis when the engine problems occurred, Navy officials said.

The crew attempted to land at the North Island Naval Air Station, but the jet crashed en route, according to a statement by the Naval Air Force of the Pacific Fleet, based at North Island.

Crew members were rescued by a Navy vessel and taken to a medical clinic for observation. The Navy has not released their names, pending notification of their families.

The F-14 Tomcat, launched in 1970, is being replaced by the F/A-18 Super Hornet. Its crew consists of a pilot and a radar-intercept officer.

Debris from the jet may wash up on area beaches, Navy officials said. They are asking anyone who spots debris to exercise care and immediately call the Navy Air Station North Island Duty Office at (619) 545-8233.

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