The Marine pilot who died after his F-18 aircraft crashed Wednesday in England apparently used his last few moments to swerve out of the way of residential homes instead of ejecting, said one witness near the scene.
Karen Miles-Holdaway was working in her garden right at the time the F-18 came crashing down into a field adjacent to her location.
“It came over the houses much lower than they normally do,” Miles-Holdaway told Watton and Swaffham Times. “Then I heard the noise which I can only describe as like an afterburner noise, a huge sound and nothing like the jets we normally have over here.”
“I have to say the whole community is feeling for the pilot’s family, and we send our condolences and prayers. I think that he could have ejected earlier, but was trying to avoid the houses and for that we are incredibly grateful,” she added.
Marine Corps pilot Taj Sareen was part of a fleet of six F-18s transferring from Bahrain to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in California after taking part in air strikes against Islamic State.
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