View Full Version : Navy jet crashes in Virginia; apartment buildings on fire
04-06-2012, 01:17 PM
[Updated at 1:11 p.m. ET] A Navy jet crashed Friday near Virginia Beach, Virginia, a military spokesman said.
The plane appears to have crashed into some apartments, and two apartment buildings were on fire, CNN affiliate WTKR reported (http://www.wtkr.com/news/wtkr-breaking-jet-crashes-in-virginia-beach-20120406,0,7398746.story), citing witnesses.
The jet was from Naval Air Station Oceana (http://www.cnic.navy.mil/oceana/index.htm) in Virginia Beach, the Federal Aviation Administration said.
The Navy said the jet's two crew members ejected. It did not release information about their conditions.
04-06-2012, 02:00 PM
so they may have been hot doggin'
04-06-2012, 02:38 PM
It was an F/A-18--old jet.
An F/A-18 crashed off of San Diego last summer, and back in 2009, an F/A-18 was headed toward Miramar Air Base and crash landed just before reaching the base, killing an entire family in a home. I believe the Navy just made a financial settlement in the husband with the case--he lost his wife, 2 kids, grandmother.
These jets are old (1980s) and the schedule of maintenance and repair has changed. They used to be repaired on a regular schedule, whether they needed it or not. Some years ago, that changed. Now, they are repaired as needed, which means sometimes problems sneak up on them. All three cases--the ones in SD and the one today--are training flights, and the engine problem may not have been known before they started out.
What happens is that the engines on these jets have problems. That is what happened in San Diego:
From the press conference at Miramar:
Overall problem: The F-18 crash was a combination of a maintenance issue, mechanical failures and some very faulty decision making by both the pilot and a couple of squadron on the ground at Miramar, leading to the shutting down of one engine and the flameout of the other. (The right engine had a low oil pressure condition and the left engine had a case of fuel starvation leading to the flameout.) At the time of pilot ejection (an impact) the F-18 had lost both of its engines and its electricity, and the plane was in freefall over the San Diego neighborhood it crashed into. The F-18 was two seconds away from a canyon (where it could have crashed without killing anyone.) The accident could have been avoided at a number of points, and there is a lot of fault to go around. Eight people have been relieved of their positions and the pilot has been grounded.
An engine issue seems to be what happened here:
George Pilkington, a witness, said he saw the plane flying low, with its nose up and tail down, ejecting fuel -- which struck him as unusual. The engine was straining, he said.
"It came over the top of my truck emptying fuel," Pilkington said.
"That it didn't cause more damage to the apartment buildings was a blessing," he said.
The plane crashed in an area of apartment complexes and homes a half-mile from the waterfront, Pilkington said.
04-07-2012, 07:48 AM
I wonder if they are going to look at the effect of using the bio fuels (algae based) in the F-18's? Not that the DoD would be allowed to announce that if it were true after Obama forced the Navy to buy 500,000 gallons of the stuff) at a greater expense than what avgas costs) and has been touting it's new "Green Hornet" F/A 18's.
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