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Navy Jet Crashes in Saudi Arabia

April 29, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A Navy EA-6B Prowler electronic warfare aircraft crashed in the desert Wednesday about 14 miles north of Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, the military said.

The twin-engine jet’s four-man crew ejected safely and were being recovered by rescue helicopters, said a statement issued by Saudi-based Joint Task Force Southwest Asia. The air base is southeast of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia’s capital.

At the time of the Wednesday afternoon accident, the aircraft was on a mission for Operation Southern Watch, which monitors areas of southern Iraq where Iraqi air activity is banned.

The aircraft was assigned to the Electronic Attack Squadron 142, based at Whidbey Island, Wash., the statement said. The plane normally is used to support warplanes and ground troops by interfering with enemy electronic transmissions.

No cause has been determined for the crash, but the statement said an investigation is under way.

On Monday, a Navy F/A-18 fighter jet went down in the Persian Gulf. Its pilot also ejected safely and was recovered uninjured by a helicopter from the aircraft carrier USS Independence.

That plane was launched from the Independence, one of two U.S. carriers in the Gulf region patrolling southern Iraq’s ``no-fly zone.″

Update hourly