Cherry Point pilot released from hospital after Harrier crash

HAVELOCK, NC (WITN) - The pilot who safely ejected out of his AV-8B Harrier jet before it crashed Monday evening is out of the hospital.

The Marine pilot is part of Marine Attack Squadron 542, which is based at Cherry Point.

The air station says the jet crashed around 6:20 p.m. in the Cherry Branch area of Craven County.

The pilot was taken to CarolinaEast Medical Center in New Bern where he was later released that night with no injuries.

The Harrier remains cordoned off as an emergency team is there beginning the aircraft recovery process. Cherry Point says an explosive ordnance disposal team will conduct a small control detonation today, as part of that recovery process.

No one on the ground was injured.

The name of the pilot has not been released and the Marine Corps says the crash remains under investigation.


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Cherry Point officials are reporting the aircraft that crashed near Havelock as a 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, AV-8B Harrier based out of the air station.

According to Cherry Point, the pilot ejected safely was transported to Carolina East Medical Center in New Bern for further evaluation.

There are no reports of civilian casualties or property damage at this time and the crash site has been cordoned off by military officials.

Amber Lynn Onizuk lives near the crash site and heard it all. She tells WITN, "I was outside we were headed to bible study. We heard the Harrier flying and then a loud crash and I said that plane just crashed. We drove up the street and everybody was running outside. We saw smoke in the field where we just had the wildfire. We ran into the woods to see if we could help and he was standing there. He said he was fine and said he had ejected. He said he was flying for 45 minutes and knew something was wrong."

Personnel from 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing arrived and assisted the Havelock Sheriff Departments, which initially responded to the accident location.

The cause of the mishap is currently under investigation.


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Craven County officials say they are responding to reports of a military plane crash.

Craven County Assistant Emergency Services Director Ira Whitford says it is in the Cherry Branch area.

Craven County Emergency Services Director Stanley Kite says the military is now in charge of the scene along Ferry Road.

Kite says the pilot, believed to be the only one aboard, has been taken to the hospital. It's believed the pilot was able to eject.

WITN has a reporter headed to the scene and will update the story as we learn more.


Credit: Amber Lynn Onizuk