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Navy Fliers Rescued in Crash

Two U.S. Navy fliers were reported in good condition after parachuting from their F-14 jet fighter before it crashed into the Pacific about 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, Navy officials said Thursday.

The names of the fliers, from the aircraft carrier Ranger, were not released. They were on a routine training mission 400 miles southwest of San Diego when the plane went down for unknown reasons, according to Navy spokesman Fred Larsen.

The $30-million plane was from the Ranger’s Fighter Squadron 1, which is stationed at Miramar Naval Air Station when the San Diego-based carrier is in port, Larsen said.

The fliers ejected safely from the disabled plane and were in the water for about 25 minutes before being picked up about 36 miles from the carrier by a rescue helicopter.

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An S-3 Viking anti-submarine aircraft and an E-2C Hawkeye radar plane on the training mission coordinated the search and rescue efforts, guiding the helicopter to the scene.

The Ranger, with its crew of 5,000, left San Diego Tuesday morning for a six-month deployment in the western Pacific and Indian Ocean with the 7th Fleet, Larsen said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation, Larsen said.


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