Pilot dead after fighter plane crashes near Port Hueneme in Ventura County

A military jet crashed near Port Hueneme in Ventura County on Oct. 29, leaving the pilot dead, officials said.

The pilot of a commercially owned military jet died Wednesday after his plane crashed just east of Pacific Coast Highway in Port Hueneme, officials said.

The Hawker Hunter MK-58 was operated by Airborne Tactical Advantage Co., a Navy contractor that simulates threats during training missions, said Kimberly Gearhart, a spokeswoman for Naval Base Ventura County.

It crashed while approaching the base with the intention to land there, and the pilot was the only person aboard, she said.

A Ventura County Fire Department spokesman said the crash occurred in a field near Hueneme Road at 5:13 p.m. Ventura County sheriff’s officers responded to the scene, he said.


ATAC spokesman Matt Bannon said all the company’s pilots are former military pilots with at least 2,000 hours of flight experience.

The identity of the pilot in Wednesday’s crash is being withheld pending notification of his family, Bannon said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash, with the NTSB serving as the lead agency, according to FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer.

The Hawker Hunter is a swept-wing British fighter jet developed in the 1950s.


In May 2012, another Hawker Hunter crashed in the area, also leaving the pilot dead. That single-seatplane was based at Point Mugu Naval Air Station and went down in a field in Camarillo.

That plane also belonged to ATAC, a Naval Base Ventura County spokesman said at the time.

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