Four hours after the accident the status of the pilot was unknown.
According to the authorities, the accident, which occurred precisely in an abyss called Star Wars Canyon, caused a thick smoke that could be seen about 10 miles away.
Aaron Cassell, who worked at his family’s Panamint Springs resort, was the first to report what happened.
“I just saw a black cloud mushroom rise. Usually, you don’t see a mushroom cloud in the desert, ”he said.
Reports indicated that the injured tourists had small wounds and were treated for minor burns and cuts of flying fragments after the plane crashed and exploded.
The pilot was driving the multi-seat F / A-18 Hornet fighter, single-seat, during routine training, said Lt. Commander Lydia Bock, a spokesman for the Lemoore Naval Air Station in the Central Valley of California.
The Super Hornet is a twin-engine fighter aircraft designed to fly from aircraft carriers or ground bases on air superiority and ground attack missions.
Four hours after the accident, the pilot’s health status was unknown. A military plane and several ambulances arrived at the scene to try to rescue him, although Cassell said in his testimony that he thought it was a “violent impact.”
The injured tourists told the KABC-TV station that they were taking pictures of the landscape when the plane fell and suddenly crashed into the canyon wall.
US and foreign military train pilots and test planes in the Rainbow Canyon, near the west entrance of the park. The flights date back to World War II.
Training flights are almost a daily feature on the edge of the canyon, where they pass so close that spectators can see the facial expressions of the pilots.
It didn’t crash at China Lake nor was the jet from CL. It’s from NAS Lemoore and went down near a canyon in Death Valley that sees frequent military traffic. It’s on public land, so photographers are out there all the time. Just Google image search “Star Wars canyon.” pic.twitter.com/zRjHO6Hb3c
— Trigger (@Trigger_Treats) July 31, 2019