Oceana-based F/A-18E Super Hornet crashes off California coast

Posted at 6:55 AM, Jun 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-06-05 18:40:55-04

At 10 p.m. Wednesday night, off the coast of Southern California it was supposed to be a routine training mission for a Virginia Beach based Superhornet pilot.

His unit, the Sunliners of Strike Fighter Squadron 81 based out of Naval Air Station Oceana were getting ready for an upcoming deployment aboard the USS Carl Vinson, when something went terribly wrong.

As he was on approach to the aircraft carrier, the pilot ejected from the aircraft, sending the jet hurtling into the water.

Navy crews safely recovered him, and he is onboard the Carl Vinson, in stable condition, while the Navy investigates the cause of the crash.

It is the fourth Virginia Beach based jet to be involved in an accident in the last two years.

Just this past January, an identical single seat F/A-18e Superhornet from Strike Fighter Squadron 143 crashed in the waters off Virginia Beach, with the pilot ejecting.

The Navy has not yet finished their investigation into that crash.

Carrier Air Wing 7 also had another Superhornet crash into the Arabian Sea during their 2013 deployment with the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower.

And of course, no one will ever forget the Good Friday crash of a F/A 18 D Hornet into the Mayfair Mews Apartment Complex.

Both pilots ejected and survived the fiery crash, and the Navy found it to be the result of a rare double engine failure.

The Navy said the engine failures had nothing to do with the reliability of the hornet or Superhornet fleets, and they were confident in their safety.

After the crash last night, all air operations have ceased aboard the Carl Vinson until further notice.

And the Navy has already started investigating the cause.

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