Navy fighter jet crashes near bomb testing range in Death Valley

F/A-18F Super Hornet aircraft launching from the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), July 7, 2018. Image courtesy Petty Officer 3rd Class Rebekah Watkins / USS Harry S Truman. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

A U.S. Navy fighter jet crashed Wednesday in Death Valley near the Naval Air Weapons Station in China Lake and the status of the pilot is currently "unknown," according to officials.

The Navy says the aircraft was one of its F/A-18E Super Hornet jets, a single-seat model jet with one pilot.

Lt. Cmdr. Lydia Bock, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Pacific Fleet's Joint Strike Fighter Wing, added, "A F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to the 'Vigilantes' of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California, crashed east of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, California.

"Search and rescue personnel are on scene and the status of the pilot is currently unknown," Bock added. "The cause of the crash is currently under investigation."

China Lake is a bombing and testing range for the United States Navy and is located approximately 125 miles north of Los Angeles.

In March 2018, two naval aviators were killed when a two-seat F/A-18F Super Hornet crashed off Key West, Fla.