A similar incident with a pilot in an A4 Navy Skyhawk with VFA127 who ran out of fuel during a training exercise closer to China Lake attempted a dead stick landing and lost his life. I was helping train pilots at NAS Lemoore at the time. VFA127 is the aggressor squadron and was flying out of Lemoore and Fallon at the time. He was a well liked pilot and it was sad to see him go out this way.
That same year we lost another F-18 pilot who lost situational awareness in the same area and flew right into the wet (dry lake). Practicing low level bomb runs on a semicloudy day over water 10 feet deep that mirrored the sky and his wing watched him roll right into the lake. He caught his mistake at the last second but to late. He struck the lake rebounded and ejected low level to no avail.
Good point. We GA-types do sometimes forget that "best glide speed" in a jet doesn't buy much distance or controllability when you get there.
As another pointed out, too, the engine may have wiped out the airframe along the way.
Yep. Sometimes it is best to just tidy up the cockpit and step out...
Lemoore, huh? Think that was home to a number of the VA squadrons based on our carrier during the 'Nam era. Seems like a zillion years ago!