Navy jet crashes into building at Virginia Beach

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Navy jet crashes into building at Virginia Beach

Postby ShortChelsea » Fri Apr 06, 2012 7:12 pm UTC

http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/06/11057385-navy-fa-18-jet-crashes-into-building-in-virginia-beach?lite

Spoiler:
A Navy F/A-18 jet crashed Friday into a cluster of apartments in Virginia Beach, Va., setting a number of buildings on fire, authorities and witnesses said.


A witness told MSNBC cable television that he arrived seconds after the crash at a building he described as a two-story apartment building that he said had been hit dead center. Aerial television coverage showed black smoke billowing from several buildings. The buildings were in the Mayfair Mews Apartments, about four miles northeast of the Naval Air Base Oceana, where the jets had taken off.

A Navy official told NBC News that both pilots had been taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. "They were ambulatory," the official told NBC.

Tim Riley of Virginia Beach Fire and Rescue said four to five buildings were on fire and that there was significant damage to about 20 apartments.

Video taken from a WAVY-TV helicopter showed fire crews in the apartment complex with large ladders spraying water on multiple smoking buildings.

Cmdr. Phil Rosi of the Navy said the two-seat jet fighter crashed about 12:05 p.m. shortly after takeoff. He said both crew members ejected from the aircraft. The Navy said the jet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 at the base.

Virginia Beach, about 400 miles south of Washington, D.C. on the Atlantic coast, is a major military center as well as vacation destination.

Witnesses described a frightening scene as they saw the aircraft plummet toward the ground.

John Swain told MSNBC he was driving, coming off Interstate 264 to head north.

"The plane came right over us and was clearly in difficulty," he said. "There was flames coming off the back … The plane got lower and lower and just as I turned … it crashed."

Jon Swain joins MSNBC to describe the crash of a U.S. Navy fighter jet in Virginia Beach, Va.
He said the jet apparently crashed into what looked like a two-story apartment building.

"Within five seconds of it going down I was at the building where it hit," Swain said.

Ernie Gonzalez, who is retired military, was sitting on the front porch of his daughter-in-law’s house behind the base where the jet had taken off. He said a few other jets had departed before the one that crashed for what was believed to be a practice or training run. The doomed jet quickly ran into trouble.

"He was flying real low like he didn’t have any power,” Gonzalez told msnbc.com by telephone.

"He was smoking really bad. Bad smoke was coming out of the engine. It kind of backfired a couple times. I heard two pops … then 15 seconds later I heard the explosion."

Gonzalez said the other jets then started circling around the crash site.

Amy Miller told The Virginian-Pilot she was outside the cleaners where she works when she saw a plane coming down with fire on its wing.

"I saw two parachutes eject. I saw them open up and then head toward the ground to the right of the jet," she told the newspaper

About two seconds later it crashed, she said.

"It looked like it had either hit the building or slid into it. Part of the building had crumpled up," she said, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

Austin Makie, of Virginia Beach, said he was golfing with two friends on a course a few miles away from where the jet went down. He said they were riding in a cart headed to the next hole when they heard a loud boom.

"We looked around … and there was a very large pile of smoke. There was really big stench like gas in the air," he told msnbc.com.

Advertise | AdChoicesState and local police were on the scene to assist the military, according to Grazia Moyers, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Police Department, NBC affiliate station WAVY reported.

"We are taking all possible steps at the state level to provide immediate resources and assistance to those impacted by the crash..." said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. "Our fervent prayer is that no one was injured or killed in this accident."

This is a developing story. Please check back for more information.


I hope no one was hurt. :(

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Re: Navy jet crashes into building at Virginia Beach

Postby Angua » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:15 pm UTC

Here's the BBC article which includes an interview with someone who helped rescue one of the pilots. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-17640618

I think it's cool how they emptied the fuel tanks to stop it from exploding.
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Re: Navy jet crashes into building at Virginia Beach

Postby sardia » Fri Apr 06, 2012 9:44 pm UTC

ShortChelsea wrote:http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/04/06/11057385-navy-fa-18-jet-crashes-into-building-in-virginia-beach?lite

Spoiler:
A Navy F/A-18 jet crashed Friday into a cluster of apartments in Virginia Beach, Va., setting a number of buildings on fire, authorities and witnesses said.


A witness told MSNBC cable television that he arrived seconds after the crash at a building he described as a two-story apartment building that he said had been hit dead center. Aerial television coverage showed black smoke billowing from several buildings. The buildings were in the Mayfair Mews Apartments, about four miles northeast of the Naval Air Base Oceana, where the jets had taken off.

A Navy official told NBC News that both pilots had been taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. "They were ambulatory," the official told NBC.

Tim Riley of Virginia Beach Fire and Rescue said four to five buildings were on fire and that there was significant damage to about 20 apartments.

Video taken from a WAVY-TV helicopter showed fire crews in the apartment complex with large ladders spraying water on multiple smoking buildings.

Cmdr. Phil Rosi of the Navy said the two-seat jet fighter crashed about 12:05 p.m. shortly after takeoff. He said both crew members ejected from the aircraft. The Navy said the jet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 at the base.

Virginia Beach, about 400 miles south of Washington, D.C. on the Atlantic coast, is a major military center as well as vacation destination.

Witnesses described a frightening scene as they saw the aircraft plummet toward the ground.

John Swain told MSNBC he was driving, coming off Interstate 264 to head north.

"The plane came right over us and was clearly in difficulty," he said. "There was flames coming off the back … The plane got lower and lower and just as I turned … it crashed."

Jon Swain joins MSNBC to describe the crash of a U.S. Navy fighter jet in Virginia Beach, Va.
He said the jet apparently crashed into what looked like a two-story apartment building.

"Within five seconds of it going down I was at the building where it hit," Swain said.

Ernie Gonzalez, who is retired military, was sitting on the front porch of his daughter-in-law’s house behind the base where the jet had taken off. He said a few other jets had departed before the one that crashed for what was believed to be a practice or training run. The doomed jet quickly ran into trouble.

"He was flying real low like he didn’t have any power,” Gonzalez told msnbc.com by telephone.

"He was smoking really bad. Bad smoke was coming out of the engine. It kind of backfired a couple times. I heard two pops … then 15 seconds later I heard the explosion."

Gonzalez said the other jets then started circling around the crash site.

Amy Miller told The Virginian-Pilot she was outside the cleaners where she works when she saw a plane coming down with fire on its wing.

"I saw two parachutes eject. I saw them open up and then head toward the ground to the right of the jet," she told the newspaper

About two seconds later it crashed, she said.

"It looked like it had either hit the building or slid into it. Part of the building had crumpled up," she said, according to the Virginian-Pilot.

Austin Makie, of Virginia Beach, said he was golfing with two friends on a course a few miles away from where the jet went down. He said they were riding in a cart headed to the next hole when they heard a loud boom.

"We looked around … and there was a very large pile of smoke. There was really big stench like gas in the air," he told msnbc.com.

Advertise | AdChoicesState and local police were on the scene to assist the military, according to Grazia Moyers, spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Police Department, NBC affiliate station WAVY reported.

"We are taking all possible steps at the state level to provide immediate resources and assistance to those impacted by the crash..." said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell. "Our fervent prayer is that no one was injured or killed in this accident."

This is a developing story. Please check back for more information.


I hope no one was hurt. :(

One pilot is in the hospital. Hope dashed. =\

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Re: Navy jet crashes into building at Virginia Beach

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:34 pm UTC

I hope no one was killed. :(

Also, I think it says something about me that what I'm really thinking about in this story is what was wrong with the plane.
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Re: Navy jet crashes into building at Virginia Beach

Postby Gears » Sat Apr 07, 2012 1:25 am UTC

Hey, I was stationed there once. That's crazy. Those pilots fly extremely low over population centers every day, it was bound to happen.
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Re: Navy jet crashes into building at Virginia Beach

Postby Aikanaro » Sat Apr 07, 2012 3:12 am UTC

Angua wrote:I think it's cool how they emptied the fuel tanks to stop it from exploding.

Pilot gets major badass and decent-human-being points in my book for that.
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Re: Navy jet crashes into building at Virginia Beach

Postby Obby » Sat Apr 07, 2012 12:48 pm UTC

I saw pictures of this posted on Reddit, it was pretty insane.

Video of shortly after the crash: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ykC6VWrWR-U

Tail end of the jet: http://i.imgur.com/OXKmQ.jpg

There were a couple other pictures from different angles I can't find right now, as well.
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Re: Navy jet crashes into building at Virginia Beach

Postby johnny_7713 » Sat Apr 07, 2012 10:38 pm UTC

Aikanaro wrote:
Angua wrote:I think it's cool how they emptied the fuel tanks to stop it from exploding.

Pilot gets major badass and decent-human-being points in my book for that.


I rather doubt the F/A-18 is fitted with a fuel jettisoning system, typically those are only fitted to long-range airliners that can not land safely at their maximum take-off weight. Also if you are high enough that you can dump enough fuel to make a difference to the post crash fire you are high enough to steer your plane away from any buildings. Even then spraying several tons of kerosene across a residential area does not seem like a great plan.

Note the Navy spokesman (i.e. the person that actually does know about the plane rather than the fireman) quoted, said: 'that the dumping of jet fuel was "one of the indications that there was a mechanical malfunction." In other words the plane was not intentionally dumping fuel but whatever damage caused the crash first (or also) ruptured a fuel tank or pipe.

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Re: Navy jet crashes into building at Virginia Beach

Postby Technical Ben » Sat Apr 07, 2012 11:35 pm UTC

Google and Wikipedia are your friends...
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afterburner (dump and burn at the bottom).

Depending on the type of fault, the type of approach etc, it's not too far fetched for the need to increase power or decrease weight via an afterburner.

I am not a pilot of airplane expert though. But I do have Google Fu. :lol:
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Re: Navy jet crashes into building at Virginia Beach

Postby PhoenixEnigma » Sun Apr 08, 2012 1:29 am UTC

johnny_7713 wrote:
Aikanaro wrote:
Angua wrote:I think it's cool how they emptied the fuel tanks to stop it from exploding.

Pilot gets major badass and decent-human-being points in my book for that.


I rather doubt the F/A-18 is fitted with a fuel jettisoning system, typically those are only fitted to long-range airliners that can not land safely at their maximum take-off weight. Also if you are high enough that you can dump enough fuel to make a difference to the post crash fire you are high enough to steer your plane away from any buildings. Even then spraying several tons of kerosene across a residential area does not seem like a great plan.
Navy F/A-18s are used for carrier operations and as such are able to jettison fuel for that reason - it's possible to fling a heavier fighter into the air that you can safely land back on the carrier. In fact, there's even a procedure for when that happens unintentionally (page V-12-15).

That said, I'm well inclined to believe that the lack of fuel was a symptom and not a reaction to the situation - amongst other things, I'm pretty sure it takes a while to intentionally dump all the fuel just after takeoff, and the Navy dude probably knows what happened better than I do.
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Re: Navy jet crashes into building at Virginia Beach

Postby johnny_7713 » Sun Apr 08, 2012 2:52 pm UTC

PhoenixEnigma wrote:Navy F/A-18s are used for carrier operations and as such are able to jettison fuel for that reason - it's possible to fling a heavier fighter into the air that you can safely land back on the carrier. In fact, there's even a procedure for when that happens unintentionally (page V-12-15).


I stand corrected, thanks :)


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