Marine Pilot Released from Hospital After Ejecting from Harrier

An AV-8B Harrier from Marine Attack Squadron 542 takes off to conduct training sorties out of Marine Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue June 21. (U.S. Marine Corps/ Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki)
FILE PHOTO -- An AV-8B Harrier from Marine Attack Squadron 542 takes off to conduct training sorties out of Marine Auxiliary Landing Field Bogue June 21. (U.S. Marine Corps/ Lance Cpl. Scott L. Tomaszycki)

The Marine Corps pilot who ejected from his jump jet before it crashed in North Carolina on Monday was released from the hospital with no injuries, officials said Tuesday.

The pilot, with Marine Attack Squadron 542, was flying an AV-8B Harrier that crashed about 10 miles from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point. No one on the ground was injured in the crash, which occurred at about 6:20 p.m.

The aircraft remains cordoned off as an emergency team begins aircraft recovery operations, according to a Marine Corps news release. There are no reports of personal property damage.

The commanding general of 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing credited local responders, who were the first to arrive at the scene of the crash.

"Thankfully, there were no serious injuries," Maj. Gen. Karsten Heckl said in a statement. "The safety of our Marines and the local community is of the utmost importance to us, and we are extremely grateful that everyone who was involved is OK."

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Members of the Harrier squadron are working with Marine aircraft rescue and firefighting personnel, explosive ordnance disposal specialists, and military and local authorities.

"The scene has been deemed safe and secure by all parties involved, but recovery personnel are still implementing environmental and personal protective measures," the release states.

This was the second military aircraft crash in less than a week. Last Thursday, an F-16 Fighting Falcon crashed into a warehouse in Southern California, injuring 11 people. The pilot ejected before the crash.

-- Gina Harkins can be reached at gina.harkins@military.com. Follow her on Twitter @ginaaharkins.

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