U.S. Fighter Jets Collide Over Pacific, 1 Pilot Missing

Both jets were assigned to Carrier Air Wing 17 and assigned to the San Diego-based Carl Vinson

A pilot is missing after two U.S. fighter jets collided and crashed into the west Pacific Ocean, the Navy said.

One pilot was rescued soon after the crash Thursday night about 250 miles west of Wake Island, approximately 2,300 miles west of Honolulu.

A search was underway for the second pilot, the Navy said.

“All-hands effort is certainly ongoing and prioritizing the search for that second air crew,” said Capt. Capt. Monty Ashliman, Commanding Officer Naval Air Station Lemoore.

Military officials told NBC News the planes were in a "holding pattern" along with several other aircraft as they prepared to land on the carrier. Suddenly, the two jets collided.

The rescued pilot was returned to USS Carl Vinson and was said to be in fair condition and receiving medical attention.

An HSD-15 with a San-Diego based helicopter squad at North Island rescued the pilot.

Both jets were assigned to Carrier Air Wing 17 and assigned to the San Diego-based Carl Vinson. The jets, both F/A-18 Hornets, had not been recovered.

NBC 7’s Elena Gomez reports from San Diego Naval Air Station North Island following the crash of two jets in the western Pacific Ocean.

The public affairs officer for Navy Regional SW said the jets involved in the crash are based out of Lemoore Naval Air Station near Fresno.

The Navy said the aircraft carrier is on a security and stability mission in the Asia-Pacific region, NBC News reported.

The jets collided at 5:40 p.m. local time, or 10:40 p.m. PT, in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Guam.

The carrier group deployed from San Diego Naval Air Station on Coronado three weeks ago.

Helping in the search are USS Bunker Hill, USS Gridley and helicopters assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73.

An F/A-18E Super Hornet crashed in June as it prepared to make a late-night landing on the Carl Vinson off the Southern California coast. The pilot ejected safely.

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