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Posted: 9/21/2004 12:32:53 AM EDT
Pilot ejects as jet slides off Quantico runway
By the Associated Press

Published September 20, 2004

QUANTICO, Va. -- A Marine Corps pilot suffered minor cuts and scrapes after ejecting from his jet Monday when it slid off the runway, officials said.

The accident occurred about 12:20 p.m. Monday at the Marine Corps Air facility on Quantico Marine Corps Base, said spokesman Maj. Wesley Hayes.

The pilot was taken to a hospital for treatment, said Capt. Tim Taylor, spokesman for Prince William County fire and rescue.

The pilot is a reservist from Alexandria assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 321, known as Hell's Angels. The squadron had been stationed at Andrews, but was decommissioned earlier this month, Kerr said.

The pilot was doing what are called "touch-and-goes" when the aircraft began sliding off the runway about 12:20 p.m., Long said. The F/A-18 landed in a marshy area about 40 feet off the north end of the runway..

The aircraft came to a stop in a marshy area at the end of the runway, Foucha said. Damage to the aircraft was extensive.

The F/A-18 was in its last flight before being retired when the mishap occurred, according to Capt. Patrick Kerr, a spokesman for Marine Reserve Affairs in New Orleans.

The Hornet was flown from Andrews Air Force Base to Quantico, where it is to become part of a museum display--likely at the Marine Corps Heritage Center under construction.

The Marines did not identify the pilot.

News video report

What the F-18 looked like in July of this year.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 12:42:23 AM EDT
Well, I'm glad the pilot safely ejected. That's the important thing. And if the jet was going to be retired, it was no great loss. I assume this was an older A model?
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 8:20:01 AM EDT

It has been a bad year for Hornets....
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 8:22:19 AM EDT

Wheel failure blamed in emergency landing of Hornet jet at Iwakuni

By Greg Tyler, Stars and Stripes
Pacific edition, Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Marine officials said Monday that an isolated material failure forced an F/A-18D Hornet pilot to conduct an emergency landing Aug. 27 at Iwakuni Marine Corps Air Station, Japan.

“The jet’s right rear landing wheel did not deploy and resulted in an arrested landing,” base officials stated in a release Monday.

“This was an isolated incident specific to this type of aircraft that resulted only in minor damage to an empty external fuel tank upon completion of the landing,” the release stated. “At no time during this landing was the local community in any danger. We regret any anxiety this may have caused the local community.”

The malfunction caused the $28 million Marine All–Weather Fighter Attack Squadron 225 aircraft to land using an arresting cable spread across the runway at about 5 p.m. The plane landed safely; no injuries were reported.

Only minor damage was done to the right external fuel tank, the release stated, adding that the tank is replaceable and not considered part of the aircraft body.

The pilots were alerted to the malfunction about 15 minutes before touch-down. They notified flight line personnel; a dozen rescue and firefighting Marines arrived on two P-19 fire trucks and one rescue vehicle in preparation for the landing.

Once the pilots were safely out of the aircraft, maintenance crews lifted the plane with a crane and manually opened the landing gear. The aircraft later was towed back to the squadron’s hangar.

The mechanism is being replaced and proper safety precautions taken; once completed, the aircraft will return to flight, according to the release.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 8:23:14 AM EDT
Its a bad year for every military aircraft. The accidents and loses dont get publicized. If you look in aviation weekly, they list all the losses for that week. There are always something there. A copter, plane, fighter. We lose stuff all the time, we just dont know about it.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 8:24:21 AM EDT
September 14, 2004

Hornet crashes in Australia; pilot ejects

By Christian Lowe
Times staff writer

A single-seat F/A-18 Hornet jet crashed Sept. 14 in a remote part of northern Australia during a U.S.-Australian exercise.
The pilot ejected safely and was treated at a nearby Royal Australian Air Force medical clinic and later released, according to a Marine Corps statement.

The pilot, who was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 12 based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan, has not been identified.

The cause of the accident is unknown, the statement said, but an investigation into the crash is underway.

The Hornet crashed at 5:45 a.m. during a “routine training” flight conducted near Tindal RAAF base, nearly 200 miles southeast of Darwin, Australia. The Hornet was participating in “Southern Frontier,” an annual live-fire flight exercise conducted on Australia’s outback ranges.

The latest Hornet crash is the fifth such crash since late June and comes during the Corps’ worst year for aviation safety since 1990.

In June, two MCAS Beaufort, S.C.,-based Hornets crashed within one day of each other, killing both pilots. In late July, two Hornets crashed into each other during a training flight in Oregon, killing two.

Top Corps commanders have decried this year’s high accident rate, saying most of the crashes were caused by human error during routine flight operations. Top aviation leaders are meeting in September to hammer out a plan to make the Corps’ skies safer.

The Corps’ aviation chief, Lt. Gen. Mike Hough, contends that the accident rate stems from poor leadership and vows to hold everyone from group commanders to squadron commanding officers accountable.
Link Posted: 9/21/2004 8:25:14 AM EDT
10:02 p.m. August 26, 2004

SAN DIEGO – A fighter jet crashed into San Diego Bay late Thursday but the pilot was able to eject safely and was pulled from the water, authorities said.

The F-18 warplane was coming in for a landing when it went into the water at about 8:45 p.m. off the North Island Naval Air Station, said Bruce Nelson, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

"The pilot ejected safely. He's OK," Nelson said. "The aircraft is in the water."

The pilot was the only person aboard, Nelson said. A dispatcher with the Harbor Police said the pilot did not appear to be injured.

No further details were immediately available and messages left with the North Island Naval Air Station were not immediately returned.

Link Posted: 9/21/2004 8:26:23 AM EDT
Fishermen Help Retrieve Bodies After Mid-Air Collision

One Crew Member Survives

ARLINGTON, Ore. -- Fishermen on the Columbia River retrieved the bodies of two Marine reservists who plummeted to earth after a pair of F-18 fighter jets collided Wednesday during a training exercise in northeastern Oregon, authorities said.
One of the bodies was found on the Oregon side of the river, the other on the Washington side, said Chris Fitzsimmons, a deputy sheriff in Gilliam County.

A third crew member survived the fiery crash and was treated and released Wednesday evening from the emergency room at Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles.

"In some respects, it's very amazing - no broken bones, no abrasions, minor injuries," said Dr. John Jacobson, who treated the unnamed survivor.

Andrew David, 34, of Goldendale, Wash., was casting his fishing nets on the river when he heard the crash of the jets colliding.

He looked up in time to see the flames above his head and two parachutes, one of which landed in the water. He rushed over to try and help the man, David said, but it was clear that the parachutist was dead.

"When you see something like this, you don't expect to be right in the middle of it," David said. "Debris was dropping by us. He was pretty beat up. It was pretty bad. We don't want to see anything like this again."

Nancy Corey, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Seattle, said the jets were based at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego.

The planes were on low-altitude training exercise from a national guard base in Portland to a bombing range in Boardman, Ore., said Lt. Col. Bill Nielson with the Oregon Air National Guard. One plane was a single seater, while the other had two seats, he said.

Multiple witnesses on the ground reported seeing or hearing the collision.

Dan Adams, a Chevron gas station employee in Arlington, said he heard the bang and felt it reverberate through his body "like a big buffet of air." He walked out from under the gas station's canopy and saw the planes plummeting to earth. "It was one big chunk tumbling towards the ground," Adams said.

Fitzsimmons, the deputy sheriff, said debris landed as far as eight miles from Arlington, a town of 500.

Debris from the incident could include fuel, metal and composite carbon fibers, said Chuck Donaldson, emergency response manager for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

"With the amount of debris the witnesses saw coming down, it is surprising no one was hurt," said Gary Bettencourt, undersheriff with the Gilliam County Sheriff's Office, who confirmed that both of the dead aviators were pulled from the water by local fishermen.

The F-18 Marine Reserve unit is visiting on an annual training mission at the Portland Air Base. They arrived with seven jets on July 11 for a two-week deployment.

The F-18 has either one or two seats depending on the version. It was first test-flown in 1978.

It is used by the Navy and Marine Corps and several countries including Canada, Australia, Spain, Kuwait, Switzerland, Finland and Malaysia.

In the American arsenal the F-18 replaced the F-4 Phantom II, the A-7 Corsair and the A-6 Intruder as those planes were phased out of service in the 1990s. They are designed for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.

Link Posted: 9/21/2004 10:21:59 AM EDT
Boyz...Grandpa Pettibone is pissed off now!

Y'all better get ready for another safety standdown!

FWIW...this happened yesterday just as I was coming into Quantico Town to my office from the MCB. The emergency guys were all over the mishap. Then right after I logged on, I heard the sireeeens indicating the bambulance taking the aviator to the hospital.

So...what I want to know is what the hell was the significance of Mr. I-Live-Three-Miles_Away? Who cares? "Housing" on base and off is NOT in the flight path.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 8:08:28 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/23/2004 8:16:05 PM EDT by CFII]
OMG, HOLY SHIT. I know the pilot from the first crash!!!!!! He is in the hospital with severe arm damage/nerve damage (only cuts and bruises is BULLSHIT) This was his LAST hop in the hornet, and for the USMC. His squadron was being retired. He is one of my dads old good friends. Damn, it always sucks when you know the guy.........

So far, its a Class C mishap. Mechanical failure, brake failure. That is the corps findings so far....

To top it all off, he is the 45 year old CO of the squadron, and flies for United airlines. BTM is his callsign.
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