2 Navy Fighter Jets Crash in Western Pacific, Pilot Missing

PHOTO: A file photo from the U.S. Navy shows an F/A-18E Super Hornet landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on Aug. 23, 2014.U.S. Navy
A file photo from the U.S. Navy shows an F/A-18E Super Hornet landing on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson on Aug. 23, 2014.

Two Navy F/A-18 fighter jets from the carrier USS Carl Vinson have crashed in the Western Pacific, officials said. One of the pilots has been rescued, but Navy ships and helicopters continue the search for the second.

The two carriers from the carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) crashed at 5:40 p.m. local time, according to the Navy's Seventh Fleet. The carrier is operating in an area off Guam.

"One pilot was rapidly located and returned to Carl Vinson, and is currently receiving medical attention,” it said in a statement. “Search efforts continue for the second pilot.”

The F/A-18 fighter has a single-seater version, as well as a double-seater variant. The aircraft involved in this incident were single-seater F/A-18Cs.

Initial indications are that the two aircraft are assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 94 (VFA-94) and Strike Fighter Squadron 113 (VFA-113).

The search for the second pilot includes guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG 52) and guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG 101) and helicopters assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 (HSC 15) and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73 (HSM 73).

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

The carrier left its home port of San Diego Aug. 22 to operate initially in the Pacific before moving on to a long-term deployment to the Persian Gulf where it would replace the carrier USS George HW Bush.

The F/A-18s aboard the Bush have been flying missions over Iraq for the past two months and were among the first U.S. aircraft to conduct airstrikes against ISIS targets in early August.