Marine Corps jet crashes near Yuma, pilot OK

YUMA, AZ - A U.S. Marine Corps Harrier attack jet crashed while on a training mission Wednesday in southwestern Arizona and base officials said the pilot ejected safely.

The AV-8B Harrier went down about 3:30 p.m. some 15 miles northwest of the Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, said Capt. Staci Reidinger, a base spokeswoman.

She said the single-seat jet crashed in an unpopulated area, but it was carrying ordnance and crews were dispatched to the scene for recovery of the aircraft.

Base officials said the cause of the crash wasn't immediately known and was under investigation.

The pilot was taken to Yuma Regional Medical Center for observation. His name wasn't released, but Reidinger said he was a Marine Attack Training Squadron 203 pilot and the Harrier squadron was based out of MCAS Cherry Point, N.C., and was doing training operations in Yuma.

Reidinger said the pilot likely wasn't seriously injured since he called base officials with his cellphone after the crash to tell them his location.

The Yuma base, which is home to four Marine Harrier squadrons, is used by Marine aviators around the nation for training and is the world's busiest Marine Corps air station.

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