Defense

July 3, 2012

Navy releases investigation results of F/A-18D crash

Tags:
by PO2 Ernest R. Scott
Oceana, Va.

Rear Adm. Ted Branch, commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, addresses the public regarding the results of its Judge Advocate General Manual investigation of the F/A-18D Hornet that crashed into an apartment complex in Virginia Beach on April 6. The aircraft, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 and based at Naval Air Station Oceana, was conducting a scheduled training exercise when it suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure shortly after takeoff and crashed into the Mayfair Mews Apartment Complex.

Commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic released the results today of its Judge Advocate General Manual investigation in to the crash of an F/A-18D into an apartment complex in Virginia Beach, Va., April 6.

The F/A-18D, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 and based at Naval Air Station Oceana, was conducting a scheduled training exercise when it suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure shortly after takeoff and crashed into the Mayfair Mews apartment complex in Virginia Beach.

“I know the process has been challenging for some, especially those who lost their homes and personal belongings,” said Rear Adm. Ted Branch, commander, Naval Air Force Atlantic. “But we are all incredibly fortunate that the crash, which occurred on Good Friday, resulted in zero loss of life.”

The recovery process was a team effort between Navy Region Mid-Atlantic and Virginia Beach first-responders who quickly began helping the affected residents. Branch said the emergency response cooperation between the city of Virginia Beach and the Navy is a testament to the close-working relationship that has developed over the years.

“I would like to add my thanks to everyone who acted so quickly to assist our aircrew, treat the injured citizens, and help ensure that all residents of the Mayfair Mews complex were safely evacuated,” said Branch. “This exceptional response almost certainly prevented further injury, and perhaps death, to affected citizens and aircrew, and more widespread property damage.”

The Navy has spent the past several weeks conducting a detailed investigation into the crash to learn what went wrong and how to minimize the chance of such an event from happening in the future.

“The aircrew followed their procedures, but given the cascading series of problems and lack of thrust and altitude, continued controlled flight was not possible,” said Branch. “It is our view that the aircrew’s assessments were reasonable given the initial indications, and their actions were in accordance with training and procedure.”

The JAGMAN investigation found that the crash occurred as a result of two significant, unrelated engine malfunctions, the first at takeoff and the second shortly after takeoff. The right engine failed due to ingestion of fuel into the right intake. The left engine afterburner failed to light when selected by the pilot after the right engine malfunction. Post-mishap analysis indicates the likely cause was failure of an electrical component, but several of the suspected components were damaged beyond the point of conclusive analysis in the crash and subsequent fire.

“While I recognize that these gaps are less than satisfying, we have a high degree of confidence in the F/A-18 airframe, and in the F404-GE-400 engine in the legacy Hornet,” said Branch. “The U.S. Navy has been flying the F/A-18 Hornet for more than 30 years, and we have found it to be an extremely safe and reliable aircraft.”

According to the Naval Safety Center, there has been a steady decline in the overall mishap rate for Naval Aircraft, and the Hornet mishap rate has followed this trend. The Naval Safety Center’s data indicate that the reliability of F404-GE-400 engine has been exceptionally good over the life of the F/A-18 program.

“We are confident that we can continue to conduct safe operations with the F/A-18, both here in Virginia Beach, and around the world,” said Branch. “Our concern is not just for our pilots and aircrew, but for our community. We operate every day with this in mind, and we are focused every day on ensuring that we have the best aircraft, operated by the best aircrew, conducting safe operations – we can accept nothing less.”




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 

Headlines October 24, 2014

News: U.S., South Korea delay transfer of wartime control - The U.S. and South Korea have delayed transferring wartime operational control of allied forces by taking on a “conditions-based approach” and scrapping the previously set deadline of 2015.   Business: Exclusive: Lockheed, Pentagon reach $4 billion deal for more F-35 jets - Lockheed Martin and U.S. defense...
 
 

News Briefs October 24, 2014

French moving troops toward Libyan border A top French military official says the country is moving troops toward the Libyan border within weeks and, along with U.S. intelligence, is monitoring al Qaeda arms shipments to Africa’s Sahel region. A French base will go up within weeks in a desert outpost just a hundred kilometers (60...
 
 
Navy photograph

Navy to commission submarine North Dakota

Navy photograph The PCU North Dakota (SSN 784) during bravo sea trials. The crew performed exceptionally well on both alpha and bravo sea trials. The submarine North Dakota is the 11th ship of the Virginia class, the first U.S....
 

 

Boeing announces SF Airlines order for Boeing converted freighters

Boeing announced Oct. 23 that SF Airlines has placed an order for an undisclosed number of 767-300ER passenger-to-freighter conversions (Boeing Converted Freighters). SF Airlines, a subsidiary of Shenzhen, China-based delivery services company SF Express, will accept its first redelivered 767 in the second half of 2015. “SF Express aims to become China’s most respected and...
 
 
LM-C130

Another Super Herc Little Rock Rollin’

  Lockheed Martin delivered another C-130J Super Hercules to the 61st Airlift Squadron at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark., Oct. 23. Little Rock AFB’s new C-130J was ferried from the Lockheed Martin Aeronautics facility ...
 
 

United Technologies beats third quarter profit expectations

United Technologies Corp. Oct. 23 reported third-quarter profit of $1.85 billion as sales increased across all its businesses and the aerospace giant reported favorable tax settlements. The Hartford, Conn.,-based company said it had profit of $2.04 per share and earnings, adjusted for non-recurring gains, came to $1.82 per share. The results topped Wall Street expectations,...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>