A U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) AV-8B Harrier II combat aircraft crashed near Havelock in Craven County, North Carolina at around 6:15pm local time on Monday, May 20.
The pilot ejected safely and was transported to Carolina East Medical Center in New Bern, North Carolina for further evaluation. There are no reports of civilian casualties or personal property damage at this time, according to a statement released by 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing.
The aircraft, involved in the incident, is assigned to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing based at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point in North Carolina.
Personnel from 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing responded to the scene and assisted the Havelock Sheriff’s Department, which initially responded to the accident location. The crash site has been cordoned off by military officials.
The cause of the mishap is currently under investigation, added the command statement.
McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) AV-8B Harrier II is a single-engine ground-attack aircraft that constitutes the second generation of the Harrier Jump Jet family.
Capable of vertical or short takeoff and landing (V/STOL), the aircraft was designed in the late 1970s as an Anglo-American development of the British Hawker Siddeley Harrier, the first operational V/STOL aircraft. The aircraft is primarily employed on light attack or multi-role missions, ranging from close air support of ground troops to armed reconnaissance.
The AV-8B is used by the U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), the Spanish Navy, and the Italian Navy. A variant of the AV-8B, the British Aerospace Harrier II, was developed for the British military, while another, the TAV-8B, is a dedicated two-seat trainer.