A Marine Corps pilot died in an F/A-18D Hornet crash Thursday night near a California Marine installation, the Corps has confirmed.
The F/A-18D was part of Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, the wing said in a statement Friday afternoon.
Marine 1st Lt. Hudson Sadler, a spokesman for the wing, declined to provide the pilot’s unit or other identifying details until 24 hours after the next of kin get notified of the death, “out of respect for the privacy of the family.”
Although the crash occurred on government property just east of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, the squadron was based at the air station at Beaufort, South Carolina. An investigation is underway, according to the statement.
Search and rescue efforts recovered the pilot’s remains, according to the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing statement. The pilot was the only person aboard the aircraft.
“With a heavy heart, our condolences go to the Marine’s family during this time,” the statement reads.
The statement added that Defense Department policy forbids naming deceased service members until 24 hours after their next of kin have been notified.
The California installation on Friday morning announced the crash, which took place overnight at 11:54 p.m. local time. The statement from the installation said the aircraft had flown out of Miramar, California, but was not part of 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, which is headquartered there.
The Corps is phasing out its aging fleet of Hornet and replacing it with F-35B Lighting II jets.