Marine Corps punishes 13 for San Diego jet crash

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Thirteen Marines have been disciplined for errors that led a disabled jet fighter to crash in a San Diego neighborhood last December, killing four members of one family, service officials told lawmakers on Tuesday.


Four officers at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar near San Diego have been relieved of duty for directing the F/A-18D Hornet to fly over the residential area, the officials said. Nine other military personnel received lesser reprimands.

With his jet having engine problems, the pilot should have been told to fly over San Diego Bay and land at another base that sits on the tip of a peninsula, the officials said.

The Marine Corps has not decided whether to discipline the pilot, who ejected safely, Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., told The Associated Press.

"He probably won't fly anymore," said Hunter, a Marine veteran.

Hunter was among the lawmakers who received a closed-door briefing Tuesday on the results of the Marine Corps' investigation into the Dec. 8 crash.

During the 90-minute session, Lt. Gen. George Trautman, the Marine Corps top aviator, and other officers described a series of mechanical and human errors that could have been avoided, Hunter said.

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