The Marine pilot killed late Thursday when his F/A-18D Hornet fighter jet crashed near Marine Corps Air Station Miramar has been identified as Maj. Andrew Mettler.
A new release from the U.S. Marine Corps said the cause of the crash is still under investigation. The plane was taking part in routine training as part of the Marine All-Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 224 when it went down east of the air station.
Mettler was stationed out of Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in South Carolina, the Marines said, and was a Georgia native.
Mettler joined the Marines in 2007 and received many awards over his career, including Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal, Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, and the Korea Defense Service Medal.
“I am deeply saddened to share the loss of Maj. Andrew ‘Simple Jack' Mettler, a fellow Marine aviator who was honing his craft as a Hornet pilot and leader in his squadron, the Fighting Bengals,” wrote 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Commanding General Maj. Gen. Scott Benedict.
Benedict wrote that he flew with Mettler in a F/A-18D Hornet fighter jet and “will always remember his skill piloting the Hornet and his wry smile.”
“It is with great humility,” he wrote, “that I offer my deepest condolences to the family, loved ones, and friends of Maj. Andrew Mettler. You remain at the forefront of our…