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Pilot dies in military jet crash in Nevada

By Ashley Fantz, CNN
updated 3:50 AM EST, Mon March 3, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • New: Name of the pilot is not being released until family is notified, Navy says
  • It took several hours for Navy personnel to reach the mountainous crash site
  • Aircraft, a U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C, had no weapons on training flight, Navy says

(CNN) -- The pilot of a jet that crashed near a U.S. Navy range in Nevada was killed, the Navy said in a press release Sunday.

The pilot's name is being withheld until family has been notified.

The crash of the U.S. Marine Corps F/A-18C happened about noon ET Saturday at Naval Air Station Fallon, about 60 miles east of Reno. The aircraft appears to be a "total loss," the Navy said.

It took several hours for Navy personnel to reach the crash site because it was in remote, mountainous terrain, and an overnight snowstorm made getting to the scene more difficult.

The Navy had initially said the aircraft was a Navy Hornet, but it was actually a Marine Corps F/A-18C on loan to the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center for use as a training aircraft, the Navy said. The aircraft was not carrying any weapons or other munitions on the training flight, the Navy said, and no other injuries or property damage have been reported.

The cause of the crash is being investigated.

Naval Air Station Fallon is a popular training site because of its weather, which provides "more than 300 clear flying days per year" and its facilities, which include four bombing ranges, an electronic warfare range and a 14,000-foot runway, the longest in the Navy, the base's website says.

In January: Divers find body of missing pilot in Navy helicopter crash

CNN's Barbara Starr contributed to this report.

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