(City News Service)- The military jet reportedly went down around 11:54 p.m. Thursday in a remote area east of Interstate 15 and south of Scripps Ranch.
About 78 emergency workers were on the scene.
The downed aircraft was believed to have been found, but the search for the pilot using helicopters and crews on the ground was continuing as of 6:30 a.m. Friday.
A defense official told ABC News that the Hornet was taking part in a training flight when it went down.
There were no indications of damage to property on the ground, officials said.
The F/A-18 Hornet is the nation’s first all-weather fighter and attack aircraft, and is considered “the workhorse of Marine Corps tactical aviation,” according to Naval Air Systems Command.
In 2008, four people were killed in San Diego when an F/A-18D Hornet crashed into a neighborhood about 2 miles from the Miramar base. The pilot survived after ejecting and received hospital treatment after getting stuck in a tree.