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Marine jet crashes in Arizona

A Harrier refuels during a training exercise over California.
A Harrier refuels during a training exercise over California.
Marine Lance Cpl. Michael Thorn

An AV-8B Harrier ground-attack aircraft crashed in an unpopulated area south of Phoenix on May 9, the U.S. Marine Corps announced later that day.

The pilot ejected safely and was transported to a local hospital for evaluation, according to Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar in San Diego, which is home to the aircraft’s unit, the Third Marine Aircraft Wing. A tweet indicated the pilot is “doing well.”

The jet took off from MCAS Yuma in Arizona, where it is stationed, and went down near Sacaton, Ariz., at about 2:30 p.m. local time, said MCAS Miramar, which added that an investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the crash. Local media reports tweeted by the Marines showed the aircraft's charred remains.

Built decades ago by McDonnell Douglas, now part of Boeing, the fixed-wing, single-engine AV-8B "jump jet" is notable for its unique ability to take off and land vertically. It is slated to be replaced by the Lockheed Martin-built F-35B, a stealthy, short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing fighter now under development.

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