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Search For Pilot Called Off By US Navy After Jets Crash In Pacific

The US Navy has called off its search for the pilot of one of two jets that crashed over the western Pacific Ocean on Friday, a spokesman has said.

The two F/A-18C Hornets were operating off the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson when they came down.

The other pilot was rescued shortly after and received medical attention aboard the ship. He has since been released from medical facilities.

The two jets, which cost $57m (£35m) each, have not been recovered.

“This is an exceptionally difficult time for the friends and family of the missing pilot and the Navy community,” Rear Adm Christopher Grady told reporters.

The identity of the pilot will not be released until the family notification process is complete, he added.

The planes were flying routine operations in the US 7th Fleet’s area of responsibility, which stretches west from the International Date Line to the India-Pakistan border.

The two aircraft had not long taken off from USS Carl Vinson when they apparently collided about 11 km (7 miles) from the carrier.

The crash occurred about 290 miles west of Wake Island, which is 2,300 miles west of Honolulu, a spokesman said.