A Marine Corps F/A-18C warplane crashed in the California desert and the pilot was killed, the service said Friday.

The jet went down around 10:30 p.m. Thursday during a training mission in the vicinity of Twentynine Palms, according to a statement from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, the aircraft's San Diego-area base.

The sprawling Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center is located at Twentynine Palms, about 140 miles east of Los Angeles.

The pilot from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing was not identified.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

The nature of the training mission was not specified.

The F/A-18C is a twin-engine fighter-attack aircraft capable of multiple types of missions.