HAVELOCK, N.C. -- The pilot of an AV-8B Harrier fighter jet that crashed near a base in eastern North Carolina is dead. Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point spokesman Mike Barton said the single-seat plane crashed about 12:30 p.m. Monday in an unpopulated area a mile from a runway as the plane returned to the base. Local authorities say the crash did not affect any of the few homes in the area. Barton said the pilot's identity was being withheld until next-of-kin was notified and that an investigation had begun into the cause of the crash. Another Harrier crashed in February near the base, but the pilot wasn't injured. Monday's crash comes in the same month that another Marine jet crashed in a San Diego neighborhood near its base, killing four people on the ground. (Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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