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Old 04-06-2012, 01:34 PM   #1
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FA-18 CRASH in Va. Beach - all safe

You might have heard, or certainly will soon, that an FA-18 crashed on a practice flight from Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, VA. They were practicing carrier landings.

For those of you who are familiar - both the Va. Beach KOA and Holiday Trav-L Park are seconds from the east end of one runway. I'm staying at Holiday this week. The crash was north of both of the campgrounds so everyone there is fin. The plane went down in a courtyard of the Mayflower apartment complex. Several buildings are fire damaged or destroyed, but so far, there are no civilian injuries or deaths being reported. The plane did not have a direct hit on any of the buildings.

A Good Friday miracle if it holds and no one is discovered in the ashes.

The pilot and copilot ejected "sideways" according to eyewitnesses, at very low altitude. The pilot actually got his chute hung on the roof of a burning building. A Virginia Beach EMT lives in the apartments - and with the help of several others - they dragged the pilot to safety. He started the evacuation of the complex before the firetrucks even got there! The co-pilot apparently landed a bit farther out. Both are in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

It's a mess and a lot of people in the complex have probably lost everything they own, but the pilots obviously stayed with the plane until the last second trying to find a place to hit where there would be as little damage as possible. They hit less than 1000 feet North of I-264, a six lane main highway to the resort area - right at on ramps for the intersection with Birdneck Road. Five blocks further east - the heart of the resort area. Just to the North - Laskin Road and shopping centers galore.

Whew. Please pray for the news to remain so good. The Navy is already moving to help the people in the apartment complex, but your good wishes would be appreciated.

Paula
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:45 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
You might have heard, or certainly will soon, that an FA-18 crashed on a practice flight from Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia Beach, VA. They were practicing carrier landings.

For those of you who are familiar - both the Va. Beach KOA and Holiday Trav-L Park are seconds from the east end of one runway. I'm staying at Holiday this week. The crash was north of both of the campgrounds so everyone there is fin. The plane went down in a courtyard of the Mayflower apartment complex. Several buildings are fire damaged or destroyed, but so far, there are no civilian injuries or deaths being reported. The plane did not have a direct hit on any of the buildings.

A Good Friday miracle if it holds and no one is discovered in the ashes.

The pilot and copilot ejected "sideways" according to eyewitnesses, at very low altitude. The pilot actually got his chute hung on the roof of a burning building. A Virginia Beach EMT lives in the apartments - and with the help of several others - they dragged the pilot to safety. He started the evacuation of the complex before the firetrucks even got there! The co-pilot apparently landed a bit farther out. Both are in hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

It's a mess and a lot of people in the complex have probably lost everything they own, but the pilots obviously stayed with the plane until the last second trying to find a place to hit where there would be as little damage as possible. They hit less than 1000 feet North of I-264, a six lane main highway to the resort area - right at on ramps for the intersection with Birdneck Road. Five blocks further east - the heart of the resort area. Just to the North - Laskin Road and shopping centers galore.

Whew. Please pray for the news to remain so good. The Navy is already moving to help the people in the apartment complex, but your good wishes would be appreciated.

Paula
Good Friday prayers for all. Crew very fortunate if they did eject horizontal. Your acct much better than initial Yahoo reports. Thanks, Paula!
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:56 PM   #3
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Thanks for the report, Paula.

Glad that the news is good. The crew was, indeed, very fortunate.

I hope all goes well for those in the apartments that lost their homes. The good news is that they are alright and can regroup.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:01 PM   #4
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Amazing!
Do you work as a news reporter?
Nice account of the situation. I am happy that no one seems to be hurt!
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:10 PM   #5
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My business partner and I run Answer Center - a local telephone answering service.

We have to keep the TV and internet up 24/7 simply because everything like this affects the business of our clients. We were talking to a new customer whose business is quite close to there. His son goes to a middle school in the neighborhood and his mother-in-law lives about a block away.

Virginia Beach is the biggest "small town" in America - everyone is only 4 degrees of separation from everyone else.

I don't know for sure if I have friends who live there yet - but it feels like I do. I'm going to go home and cull my wardrobe for nice things people might need and get a bunch of $10 gift cards so people can buy new undies!

Paula
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:10 PM   #6
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Gotta love ya big sis! Glad you're OK, and prayers for the pilots and families in the complex.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:10 PM   #7
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Here are some newsy links for current info:

F-18 Crashes into Apartment Building and Explodes (Updating Live)

F-18 Navy jet crashes into Virginia Beach apartment complex
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:15 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Foiled Again
My business partner and I run Answer Center - a local telephone answering service.

We have to keep the TV and internet up 24/7 simply because everything like this affects the business of our clients. We were talking to a new customer whose business is quite close to there. His son goes to a middle school in the neighborhood and his mother-in-law lives about a block away.

Virginia Beach is the biggest "small town" in America - everyone is only 4 degrees of separation from everyone else.

I don't know for sure if I have friends who live there yet - but it feels like I do. I'm going to go home and cull my wardrobe for nice things people might need and get a bunch of $10 gift cards so people can buy new undies!

Paula
Again nice job!
Thanks
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:03 PM   #9
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Great job Paula!!

God Bless all.

As a MCAS veteran, reading some of those Facebook posts on the news links makes my blood boil.
They have no idea what those Pilots were going thru. Assigning blame at this point accomplishes nothing.

Prayers for the victims.

Bob
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:22 PM   #10
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I heard this on the radio about two hours ago (I live one state over) and thought "Dang, that's right where we camped last summer!" I drove right by Oceana and they have an F-14 on a pole out by the road. I thought it was wicked cool to see the 14's and 18's flying over (I'm a pilot but the hottest thing I've flown was either a 1941 Stearman biplane, a Cessna 206, or a Vans RV-7...take your pick of which genre you like best....but none of them will go 1500mph....) I'm glad no one was hurt seriously.
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:44 PM   #11
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The news accounts report three in area hospitals and none with life threatening injuries.
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:19 PM   #12
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Just went to Lupper (lunch/supper) at a "dive" restaurant on Laskin Rd. The police and military are working in lock step to get everything under control. The FAA & NCIS will be going through the scene with fine toothed combs for weeks I'm sure.

There are three people in hospitals - so far all expected to recover. Many of the residents of Mayfair Mews Apts. (corrected name) are retired, so it's to be hoped that the stress doesn't result in heart problems over the next few weeks.

I imagine the news will cover this at 6:00 tonight - If there's anything local that doesn't make the national news I'll update this thread.

Paula
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Old 04-06-2012, 04:46 PM   #13
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Could have been so much worse.

Thanks for the update.


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Old 04-06-2012, 05:24 PM   #14
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There were in fact five or six injured, including the student pilot and instructor. The news here is currently reporting that all have been released from the hospital except one of the naval aviators. First Responders are still searching through the damaged/destroyed buiidlings, so we are keeping are fingers X'd. Jack
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