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Rescuers end ocean search for Navy fighter pilot

Rescuers on Saturday have called off their search of the Pacific Ocean for a Navy fighter pilot whose jet was one of two that crashed west of Wake Island.

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This photo provided by the US Navy, a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter lands on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during search and rescue operations for a missing pilot on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.  (Photo credit: AP)

This photo provided by the US Navy, a MH-60S Sea Hawk helicopter lands on the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during search and rescue operations for a missing pilot on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.
(Photo credit: AP)

The Navy said Saturday that it presumes the pilot is dead after failing to find him during a 36-hour search. The Navy declined to release the pilot’s name pending notification of his family. The Navy said the crash is under investigation and didn’t release any more details.

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

The two F/A-18C Hornets crashed about 5:40 p.m. local time about 250 miles west of Wake Island. The island is 2,300 miles west of Honolulu.

The other pilot safely ejected, was rescued from the ocean by helicopter and was treated and released from medical facilities aboard the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson.

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