Sixth U.S. Super Hornet crashes in 2 years: F/A-18E crashed into the Philippine Sea

Sixth U.S. Super Hornet crashes in 2 years: F/A-18E crashed into the Philippine Sea. US Navy (USN), Carrier Air Wing 5 Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet from  USS Ronald Reagan  (CVN-76) crashed into the sea off Japan’s southern island of Okinawa

US Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet crashed into the Philippine Sea

The fighter jet crashed some 250 kilometers (156 miles) east-southeast of Okinawa’s capital city Naha at around 11:45 am (0245 GMT), said Osamu Kosakai, spokesman for the ministry’s Okinawa defense bureau.

Its two crew members ejected and were rescued by a US military helicopter, he told AFP, adding the accident was “not life-threatening”.

The F-18, part of Carrier Air Wing 5 onboard the USS Ronald Reagan, experienced a “mechanical issue that resulted in the crew ejecting” while carrying out “routine operations” from the Nimitz-class supercarrier, the US Navy 7th Fleet said.

The Navy said the pilots are in good condition and were evaluated by medical personnel after their rescue. They said the crash is now under investigation.

The USS Ronald Reagan has now resumed normal operations after the incident, currently supporting “security and stability in the Indo-Pacific region,” the Navy said.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Japan’s coastguard “dispatched an aircraft to the waters to see if there is any debris or floating oil”, a coastguard spokesman told AFP.

Okinawa accounts for less than one percent of Japan’s total land area but hosts more than half of the approximately 47,000 American military personnel stationed in Japan.

For decades, Okinawa residents have asked for some of the bases to be moved, with resentment growing after a string of ac

Okinawa hosts US military bases and thousands of personnel.

This is the second recent incident involving the USS Ronald Reagan. In mid-October a US Navy MH-60 Seahawk helicopter crashed on the flight deck of the carrier, injuring 12 people.

The US 7th Fleet, which stays deployed in the Asia-Pacific region, is made up of at least 50 ships and submarines at any given time, along with 140 aircraft and some 20,000 sailors.

Legacy Hornets have also crashed at an alarming rate as we have already reported in the past:

  • on Nov. 9, 2016, two U.S. Marine Corps F-18 Hornets from MCAS Miramar crashed, near San Diego.
  • on Oct. 25, 2016 F/A-18C crashed near USMC Air Ground Combat Cente, Twentynine Palms.
  • on Aug. 2, 2016, U.S. Navy F/A-18C belonging to the Strike Fighter Wing Pacific, Detachment Fallon, crashed 10NM to the south of NAS Fallon.
  • On Jul. 27, 2016 a USMC F/A-18 belonging to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing crashed during a night strafing run on a weapons range near Twentynine Palms (killing the pilot).
  • On Jun. 2 a Blue Angels Hornet crashed after taking off from Smyrna/Rutherford County Airport (KMQY), Smyrna, Tennessee: the only pilot on board was killed in the incident.

The Super Hornet incident on Nov. 12 is the second involving a U.S. Super Hornet in 2018, the sixth one since May 2016.

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