U.S. Navy Confirms Pilot Killed In F/A-18E Crash in Star Wars Canyon

File photo of a U.S. F/A-18 Super Hornet in Star Wars Canyon. (Photo: Tom Demerly/TheAviationist.com)

Investigation Continues, Identity of Pilot To Be Released When Appropriate.

The U.S. Navy has confirmed that the pilot of a Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet that crashed at approximately 9:50 AM local time on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 in the Rainbow Canyon low flying training area, often referred to as Star Wars Canyon, did not survive the accident.

An official statement released today, August 1, 2019, says, “The Navy has confirmed that the pilot of the F/A-18E Super Hornet that crashed July 31st died in the crash. In accordance with Department of Defense policy, the identity of the pilot will be withheld until 24 hours following notification of next of kin. The Navy mourns the loss of one of our own and our hearts go out to the family and friends affected by this tragedy.

The pilot, a member of Strike Fighter Squadron One Five One (VFA-151) nicknamed the Vigilantes from NAS Lemoore, died Wednesday when his aircraft impacted the side of the canyon wall between the Father Crowley Point parking lot and The Vista in Star Wars Canyon.

Here’s a video showing the crash site.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation.

About Tom Demerly
Tom Demerly is a feature writer, journalist, photographer and editorialist who has written articles that are published around the world on TheAviationist.com, TACAIRNET.com, Outside magazine, Business Insider, We Are The Mighty, The Dearborn Press & Guide, National Interest, Russia’s government media outlet Sputnik, and many other publications. Demerly studied journalism at Henry Ford College in Dearborn, Michigan. Tom Demerly served in an intelligence gathering unit as a member of the U.S. Army and Michigan National Guard. His military experience includes being Honor Graduate from the U.S. Army Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Georgia (Cycle C-6-1) and as a Scout Observer in a reconnaissance unit, Company “F”, 425th INF (RANGER/AIRBORNE), Long Range Surveillance Unit (LRSU). Demerly is an experienced parachutist, holds advanced SCUBA certifications, has climbed the highest mountains on three continents and visited all seven continents and has flown several types of light aircraft.