Two Navy Jets Involved in Mishap
Story Number: NNS050720-04
Release Date: 7/20/2005 10:41:00 AM
From Commander, Strike Fighter Wing, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
NAVAL AIR STATION LEMOORE, Calif (NNS) -- Two Super Hornets based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore experienced a mid-air collision while on a routine training mission July 18. The mishap occurred at 11:29 a.m. in a remote training area, about 35 nautical miles northeast of Ridgecrest, Calif., over the Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake.
The aircraft involved were an F/A-18E (single seat) and an F/A-18F (two seat), both from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 122. No live ordnance was aboard.
Two of the three aircrew have been recovered and have been identified as Lt. Noel Sawatzky and Lt. John Bonenfant. They are currently being treated at Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield, Calif., and are reported to be in fair condition.
Search and rescue efforts continue for the third aviator. The wreckage of both aircraft has been located, allowing searchers to focus on a primary area.
The name of the third aviator is being withheld.
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