Lt. Richard Bullock was stationed at Naval Air Station Lemoore in California and was part of Strike Fighter Squadron 113. He was on a routine training mission when he crashed his F/A-18E Super Hornet jet. An investigation into what caused the crash is underway.
“The Navy mourns this tragic loss alongside the family, friends and shipmates of Lt. Bullock,” the Navy said in a statement.
Local authorities in Trona are currently aiding in the recovery efforts, the Navy added. No civilians were harmed in the crash.
Friday’s incident marks the fourth Super Hornet crash since 2019. In 2019, one crash resulted in the death of the pilot and minor injuries to seven civilians who were hit by debris when they gathered at a scenic route to watch the fighter jets. A crash in 2020, and one last October, resulted in both pilots safely ejecting from their planes during training missions, according to NBC News. One landed in Death Valley National Park, while the other landed in the Mojave Desert.
A different Navy plane crashed in Virginia in March, killing one person and injuring two others, during a routine flight operation. Two UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters crashed the day before at an Army field in Georgia, with one person killed. In February, two helicopters crashed during a Utah National Guard training, though no serious injuries were reported. And one person was injured when a Navy helicopter crashed in Virginia in January, according to the Hill.