Losses and Aviation Safety

VFA-151 F/A-18E Crashes Near NAWS China Lake. The Status of the Pilot is Unknown.

The F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the ‘Vigilantes’ of VFA-151 was based at Naval Air Station Lemoore.

A single-seat F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the ‘Vigilantes’ of Strike Fighter Squadron 151 (VFA-151) based at Naval Air Station (NAS) Lemoore, Calif., crashed on Jul. 31, 2019 in the morning at approximately 10 a.m. PST, east of Naval Air Weapons Station (NAWS) China Lake, California.

The status of the pilot is unknown.

“At approximately 10 a.m. PST, an F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the ‘Vigilantes’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., crashed east of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif.,” read a statement from spokeswoman Lt. Cmdr. Lydia Bock provided to USNI News.

“Search and rescue personnel are on scene and the status of the pilot is currently unknown. The cause of the crash is currently under investigation.”

A rescue team from the base and local officials are on the scene of the crash, Bock told USNI News.

VFA-151 is part of Carrier Air Wing 9 which returned to California earlier this year after completing a deployment aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74).

VFA-151 transitioned to LOT 35/36 F/A-18E Super Hornets in February of 2013.

Included among the many achievements in VFA-151’s proud history are the receipt of the Presidential Unit Citation, eight Armed Forces Expeditionary Medals, five Battle “E” awards, six Safety S’s, six Navy Unit Commendations, and seven Republic of Vietnam Meritorious Unit Citations.

U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Scott Fenaroli

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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