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Marine jet crashes in Arizona desert; pilot OK

May. 10, 2014 - 11:39AM   |  
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PHOENIX — A Marine Corps Harrier jet crashed on tribal land south of Phoenix on Friday, but authorities said the pilot was able to eject safely.

Television footage showed the charred wreckage scattered in several pieces in a remote desert area on the Gila River Indian Community.

Parts of the plane still were smoldering an hour after the crash, which occurred about 2:30 p.m. MST.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the wreckage was near the Sacaton Rest Area, about 40 miles southeast of Phoenix.

The AV-8B Harrier was based out of Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, but base officials referred all calls to the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California.

Miramar officials released a statement Friday night stating that an investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the crash.

A tweet posted on Miramar's website read: "Thankfully the pilot is safe and doing well."

A spokesman for the Gila River Indian Community said the pilot was the only person aboard and suffered only a nose laceration.

The pilot, whose name wasn't released, was taken to a hospital for observation.

Tribal police Detective Robert Hawkes said the crash scene was secured for more than a mile "so any evidence is kept intact." He said the cause of the crash was not yet known.

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