CNN BREAKING NEWS
Naval Planes Lost over Pacific Ocean
Aired October 18, 2002 - 14:25 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CAROL LIN, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome back to the CNN center. We have just got some breaking news that two F-18s have crashed southwest of Monterey, California.
Barbara Starr has been working this story from the Pentagon and she has got more on this -- Barbara.
BARBARA STARR, CNN PENTAGON CORRESPONDENT: Carol, word just being received here at the Pentagon that two U.S. Navy F-18F Super Hornet aircraft have indeed crashed into the Pacific about 80 miles southwest of Monterey in California.
A search and rescue operation, we are told, is ongoing at this hour, being conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard over the Pacific Ocean. So far, we have no word on whether anyone saw the pilots eject from the aircraft. These are two-seater aircraft, so the search and rescue effort is looking for four Naval aviators who were flying in these two F-18s.
This was part of a routine training mission that was launched this morning out of Lemoore Naval Air Station, which is about an hour outside of Fresno, California. They were part of a group of six other Hornets on this routine training mission.
We are told by the Navy, the aircraft were carrying no weapons, no live weapons, and they do not yet know the circumstances surrounding how these two planes crashed, whether they crashed into each other and then fell into the ocean, or whether there was some other type of accident.
But again, Coast Guard is conducting a search and rescue operation at this hour, about 80 miles off the coast of Monterey, California, looking for four Naval aviators who have crashed in two F- 18 Super Hornets into the ocean -- Carol.
LIN: Barbara, any word, any information about the last communications that the pilots had?
STARR: No. The Navy here doesn't have that kind of detail yet. At this moment, they are really focused on the search and rescue effort. We should mention that this model of the Hornet, it is called the Super Hornet. It's an F-18, but it is the most advanced version of the Super Hornet. It has just recently, in the last several months, become operational within the U.S. Navy, flying missions around the world. No indication, certainly, as to what happened here, what the weather was, whether there was some other problem, but this is one of the Navy's most advanced tactical fighter aircraft -- Carol. LIN: All right. We better let you go so you can work the story. Thank you very much. Barbara Starr, that's a lot of information on this breaking news as we've just gotten it as they search for these four pilots.
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