Vice Adm. Kenneth Whitesell, Commander, Naval Air Forces, directed all non-deployed U.S. Navy aviation units to conduct a safety stand down Oct. 26.
This stand down provides an opportunity for our aviation commands to focus on how to further improve operational risk management and risk mitigation across the Naval Aviation enterprise.
This safety stand down follows an F/A-18E Super Hornet crash near Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif., on Oct. 20, in which the pilot ejected safely, and a T-6B Texan II crash in Foley, Ala., on Oct. 23, in which the two-person aircrew did not survive. No civilians were injured as a result of either incident.
While the pilot of the Super Hornet ejected safely, the T-6B crash took the lives of two aviators Navy Lt. Rhiannon Ross and Coast Guard Ens. Morgan Garrett. Ross was a 30-year-old instructor pilot from Michigan. Garrett was a 24-year-old student aviator from North Carolina.
The safety of our personnel and our local communities is a top priority we take all aviation incidents extremely seriously.
We remain the greatest aviation force in the world and are committed to learning from these incidents in order to avoid these tragedies in the future.