OXNARD (CBSLA.com) — The plane crash that killed a seasoned military pilot near Port Hueneme was under investigation Thursday by the NTSB and the FAA, officials said.
The crash involving a Hawker Hunter, a one-person jet often used to train pilots in combat exercises, happened around 5:15 p.m. Wednesday in an agricultural field as the jet made its final approach to the Point Mugu naval base.
“Amazingly loud. Then, it was just a huge fireball. You could see parts just go everywhere,” an unidentified witness said .
The aircraft was owned and operated by Airborne Tactical Advantage Co., a civilian contractor.
ATAC said the pilot, 45-year-old Charles Rogers of Utah, was retired from the military and had experience with jet fighters.
Rogers was ejected from the airplane and killed.
“These aircraft, they’re inherently dangerous. Even if they’re doing a civilian missions, there are going to be issues,” Ventura County Fire Capt. Mike Lindbery said.
Wednesday’s crash was similar to one that occurred in 2012 approximately three miles away. It also involved a Hawker Hunter jet owned by ATAC.