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Navy F18 crashes into Va. Beach apt complex; crew ejected and OK

The Navy confirms to that an F/A-18D jet has crashed in Virginia Beach Friday afternoon. Grazia Moyers, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Police Department, told just before 12:30 p.m. what police believe is a military aircraft went down. Cmdr. Phil Rosi with Naval Air Forces Atlantic told the plane was an F/A-18D with Strike Fighter Squadron 106 that crashed just after noon right after takeoff. Rosi added two aircrew safely ejected from the plane that was based at… ( Altro...

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zennermd 7
It breaks my heart when an airplane dies.
Local news reports saying that the pilot reported flames over the wing and a wing separating from the aircraft. Eyewitnesses also are saying the aircraft was at an almost 45-degree angle and three or four popping noises shortly before the crash.
chalet 2
Never, repeat never pay attention to the so called "witness reports", 99.9999% of the times it is folks who have no idea how and why a normal flight looks and sounds like, never mind a plane in distress.
there goes the flying on 1 engine theory
The popping sounds would have been the canopy popping off the jet for one. The other 2 popping sounds would have been each seat leaving the jet before it crashed.
I'm not sure. One eyewitness at a salvage yard right off the end of the runway heard the pops right over his head. The crash site is about 2 miles off the end of the runway.
Also, as for the flame over the wing, its all about the point of view of the person seeing the fire. If I would guess, the plane was banked over to the right and its possible that the flame could have been the right engine in afterburner and the dumping fuel igniting as well. In addition, it almost sounds like they ejected out of the envelope and are lucky to be alive.
alistairm 1
If they were going more than 630kias, then they would be out of the envelope. But, i don't think they would be going that fast right after takeoff. Pretty sure they were sitting in a variant of the MK10 MB seat. This would mean they can eject all the way up to 630kias before they are out of the envelope. It is not really luck when you eject just after you take off. The seat is also zero/zero.
I don't think air speed is a problem here. But they can be out of the envelope if the plane is banked over too far. The first female F-14 pilot comes to mind when she punched out too late and died. Here is info on the ejection system on the F-18. Page 627
The flames over the wing were reported by the pilot.
That would be rather odd for the pilot of the jet reporting this to sources outside the military, but hey, stranger things have happened.
That was what an admiral that released a statement said he was told by the pilot.
Maybe still in the envelope but one of them was still in the seat as he landed. He waited way too long to punch. Maybe he was still trying to fly the aircraft away from the buildings. I flew in a zero/zero seat and it was just enough to give you one swing before impact.
Lee Gillan 2
I live about 2 miles from the crash and it was a miracle that no one was killed in the incident. Both pilots punched out low and their chutes were barely open when they landed. Both doing ok and back on duty. Fuel is dumped automatically in an emergency situation and it was dumping when they approached the crash site. Neither engine of the aircraft was producing enough power to sustain flight. If one engine had been working, they would have been able to return to Oceana and land. (Former Navy pilot)
I observed a similar mishap in 1994 at Alameda. Chutes did not deploy and both pilots were lost.
I'm betting they did not have any control of the ac when they punched.
indy2001 2
This brings back bad memories from 1987 of a similar, though much deadlier, incident near the old Indianapolis airport terminal. ( Thank God all survived in this one.
They were dumping fuel prior to crash.sounds like possible engine failure.One report says pilot apologised said they did everything they could to avoid poulation.
By looking at this photo, I can tell you that the left engine was shutdown at the point of impact and the right engine was at full or almost full power before impact. I'm no expert on this, but I worked on F/A-18D's for a few years while I was in the Navy.
New report said it was a F/A-18D
I am sure that plane could fly with one engine. For both engines to fail is hard to believe.
It can fly one one engine, but if it failed during take-off, the weight and balance would be off. Plus we don't know the configuration of the F-18 on take-off. It could have a few drop-tanks, fake bombs, both, we just don't know.
Ryan Hales 2
I'm not a military guy so really can't comment on their procedures or regulations, but in the civilian world the "weight and balance" as you put it is based on one engine out climb performance.
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

F18 crashes into apartments near Virginia Beach

a f18 has crashed in virginia into a block of apartments next to a school
sparkie624 1
the news report says the "engine" was straining.... If they could tell if one engine was straining, how come they can't tell us which one?... All jokes aside.. I wonder what happened.
sparkie624 1
Good they ejected safely. Says one pilot taken to hospital... Wonder what happened.
pretty daunting photos
Can still fly on one engine.I don,t think weigh and balance acft had nose up condition.Possiable Flight control problems to give nose up condition.And training for a pilot is to avoid populace
Here is a list of procedures for lost thrust on take off. Page 534 14.5 LOSS OF THRUST ON TAKEOFF
See also Page 89 in the pdf, page I-2-17, para 2.2.7 Fuel Dump System.
chalet 1
Wasn´t Oceana´s F-18s supposed to move to Mayport or Cecil NAS in Florida and one of the reaons being the encroachment of residential and commercial buildings aroung Oceana.
@chalet: Let's not second guess the crew just yet. I'd bet money they did all they could to avoid injury on the ground, but if they no longer had control of the a/c then why ride it in?? To be honest my impression was that you were being awfully gallant with "their" lives.
chalet 1
It is up to the investigators to find out what happened and why the two crewmen ejected right over a heavily populated area letting go the plane to crash anywhere; in similar instances crewmen opted to stay in the plane trying as much as possible to cause the least number of casualties even knowing that their heroic decision was going to cost their own lives. It is a mirable that this time nobody got hurt in that building.
It hit a Senior Citizen apartment complex, other news reports citing, "possible" victims .. on the ground
ctbonesfan 1
It seems like the same thing that happened with the Canadian demo F-18 where one engine starting producing more thrust than they other and they lost control.
what is interesting is that about 15 min. after this happened (about the time for them to get to my house), two of those jets came over my house at about 150ft. on the training route. Wouldn't be surprised if this one was one that was due to fly over my house!
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F/A-18 Super Hornet Crashes in Virginia Beach

Both pilots are believed to have ejected safely. Cause is unknown. Looking forward to seeing more information surface.
Tom Waters -4
I am a veteran who lives with many other veterans. Unanimous comment. Their plane went through six residential buildings after they ejected. We all expect by the time the military is done with them after that they will have wished they hadn't lived. You just don't have an aircraft fly into people's homes with nobody onboard trying to prevent that from happening right on up through the crash. Like the saying for ships you go down with the ship only for airplanes it only applies in some situations... crashing into homes is one of them.
Neither you or I were there. And your status as a veteran doesn't impart you with special vision. You can't know how bad it may have been up there or what they'd already done to correct or mitigate the situation. I promise you that if they felt it was time to step over the side then they no longer had the ability to affect the outcome. Think on's aircraft are fly by wire. If the systems pack it in they I don't care how much you fight the controls, you no longer "have" control and are just a passenger on a losing proposition. But this is of course speculation on my part and hopefully a reminder to my fellow "enlightened" veterans to consider all the possibilities before you throw a crew under the bus.
Wow, this has to be the dumbest post I have read in quite some time. You are acting as if they did not even try to save the jet from going down. Were you there in the cockpit with them? If the pilots punched out just a second later than they did, they would probably be dead. When all is said and done, I bet nothing happens to these pilots. They will probably be back flying F-18’s in a year or so.

Now let’s look at this from your misguided point of view. So, they stay with the jet all the way into the buildings. Now we have two dead people instead of none. In addition, we would not have any firsthand knowledge of what went wrong with the jet before it crashed. This accident will all just come down to a maintenance issue with the jet before it was cleared for flight. The same thing that happened to the F-18 that crashed in December 2008 in San Diego.
Totally agree with Mike - And if you know the area and read more about the incident, the pilots did everything they could to get to water. Not being able to make it, they road it down as far as they could to ensure it got passed the elementary school. Considering what we know (and don't know), they did a darn good job.
I haven't found any evidence that the F18
d has a fuel dump system. Normally fighters
do not have a fuel dump system, they drop the
external tank. But the Navy said they were dumping
fuel. But that was a spokesman and probably not
a pilot.
skittel 5
I served in the military as a C141 crewchief and worked on F14's and E6's at Norfolk Naval Aviation depot for many years as a civilian airframes mechanic. Both of those aircraft have a means to dump fuel. I cant think of any military or heavy aircraft that doesnt. It is necessary to both reduce weight and chance of a fireball on landing...From the articles I read, it appears they were on the departure leg when a the engine developed problems. If something like that is going to happen, it's at that time. The aircraft is at full power on take off...the engine either ingested some FOD and/or suffered an uncontained failure that caused engine debris to puncture the wing on that side. Im not sure if the aircraft would have had such a great assymetric thrust problem as some suggested, since the engines are close to center line. it would appear the pilots did a good job with emergency procedures, dumping fuel and get the aircraft slowed (indicated by the high angle of attack witnesses saw).
Your talking heavy jet vs fighter.We all know that some commerical a/c have the capabitity to dump fuel. For instance; 767-400 can dump fuel but the 767-200 cannot.757 cannot dump fuel as is the same with a 737 (all models) MD-80 series cannot but the 727 could. My original question;can a F-18 dump fuel?
Yes, the F-18 can dump fuel.
mschacht44 Page 89
Thanks Mike, I did not know that!
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Navy jet crashes into apartments in Virginia

A Navy jet crashed Friday into some apartments near Virginia Beach, Virginia, sending flames and thick black smoke into the air, a military spokesman and a witness said.
At least two people were hurt Friday, a hospital spokeswoman said.
The pilot and a person who was on the ground were being treated for injuries, but the nature and extent of those injuries were not immediately clear, the spokeswoman said.
John Grasso -3
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Navy Jet Crash VA

Navy jet crashed into residential building
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F-18 crashed into appartment complex in Virginia Beach near Oceana Naval Station

A two-seat F/A-18D Hornet developed trouble shortly after takeoff from Oceana Naval Air Station in the Beach on Friday. The two aviators ejected to safety before the jet crashed into the Mayfair Mews senior citizens apartments
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

Investigation to begin on yesterday F-18 crash in Virginia Beach

As of this morning, everyone is accounted for, although officials can't yet say officially that no one perished in the crash, said Battalion Chief Tim Riley, Virginia Beach Fire Department spokesman
ltcjra -3
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Navy F/A - 18 crashes in Virginia; no injuries or fatalities reported

TV footage shows black smoke billowing from an apartment building where the craft went down. Pilots ejected
Steve S -3
(Duplicate Squawk Submitted)

US Navy F/A-18 Crashes in Virginia Beach

United States Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet has reportedly crashed in a residential area in the city of Virginia Beach, Virginia.


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