Three people died after a jet crashed off California’s San Clemente Island early this week, their employer Phoenix Air has confirmed, adding that they were taking part in a U.S. Navy training exercise when the accident occurred. The three were all flight crew of a Learjet 36 from Phoenix Air. The plane went down into the water off San Clemente Island in Southern California at about 7:40 am, Wednesday local time, Xinhua news agency reported.
Learjet 36 is an American multi-role business jets and military transport aircraft manufactured by Learjet between 1973 and 1993. San Clemente Island, the southernmost of the Channel Islands of California, is owned by the Navy and has a military airstrip, training facilities, and the Navy’s only remaining ship-to-shore live firing range.
According to the company, the plane took off from Point Mugu, a Navy facility on the mainland, and crashed about one nautical mile from San Clemente Island. It was one of two Phoenix Air Learjets participating in a Navy training exercise, and the other aircraft landed safely. Both aircraft were flying in a military-restricted area.
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Phoenix Air is an aviation charter operator and government and military contractor based at the Cartersville-Bartow County Airport northwest of Atlanta, Georgia.