Two Navy Jets Collide Over California Military Base, Killing Pilot

Two Navy fighter jets collided Monday over a military base, killing one pilot and seriously injuring another, authorities said.

The F/A-18 jets from Lemoore Naval Air Station were practicing dogfighting maneuvers when they crashed at Fort Hunter Liggett, a remote Army Reserve base 150 miles south of San Francisco, said Navy spokesman Dennis McGrath.

The victims were members of Strike Fighter Squadron 125, also known as the "Rough Riders."

Details were not immediately known, but a Fort Hunter Liggett spokesman said two parachutes were seen, indicating the pilots ejected.

The crash sparked several small fires.

Lemoore supplies all the fighter jets to Navy ships off the West Coast and serves as a training site for F/A-18s. Dozens of fighters rotate to and from aircraft carriers per month.

The Lemoore base is about 100 miles inland from where the crash took place.

The F/A-18C "Hornet" is a McDonnell-Douglas single-seat fighter jet that can reach a speed of 1,190 mph.