Lt Charles Walker, Pilot Killed in F/A-18E Jet Crash
The Navy pilot killed in Wednesday’s crash in “Star Wars Canyon” has been identified as Lt Charles Walker, 33. The Navy declared him dead on Thursday after his F/A-18E jet crashed into the side of a ravine in Death Valley.
The pilot of the F/A-18E which crashed approx. 40 miles north of @NAWS_CL 31JUL has been identified. The Super Hornet, assigned to the “Vigilantes” of VFA-151 based at NAS Lemoore was flown by LT Charles Z. Walker, 33. pic.twitter.com/knkrgCznRs— flynavy (@flynavy) August 2, 2019
Walker was a member of Strike Force 151, also known as the “Vigilantes,” which is based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore in California. The initial investigation determined that Walker did not eject. The jet slammed into the side of the ravine with “an impact reminiscent of a bomb.”
The Navy’s statement reads in part:
The NAS Lemoore aviation family is grieving the loss of one of our own,” said Capt. James Bates, Commander, Strike Fighter Wing Pacific. “Lt. Walker was an incredible naval aviator, husband and son. He was an integral member of the Vigilante family and his absence will be keenly felt on this flight line. Our aviators understand the risk associated with this profession and they knowingly accept it in service to our nation. The untimely loss of a fellow aviator and shipmate pains us all. Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family and friends.”
The pilot was on a routine training mission in the area at the time of the crash. The cause of the crash is under investigation.USNI
“Star Wars Canyon” is about 40 miles from the Navy’s largest landholding…Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.
Lt Charles Walker
Walker was commissioned a Naval officer in December 2008 through the Navy ROTC program at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, and he completed flight school in September 2009, according to his service records.
He joined Strike Fighter Squadron 151 in February 2018. He previously served tours with Strike Fighter Squadron 122 at NAS Lemoore, at the Naval Strike and Air Warfare Center in Nevada and with Strike Fighter Squadron 195 in Iwakuni, Japan, where he was stationed from 2012 to 2015, his records show.Stripes
Featured Photo of Lt Charles Z. Walker, US Navy