Navy Super Hornet Loss First Since August
By RICHARD R. BURGESS, Managing Editor
ARLINGTION, Va.— The Navy F/A-18F Super Hornet that crashed on final approach to Boca Chica Field, Naval Air Station (NAS), Key West, Florida, on March 14, killing both members of the crew, was the first loss for the Super Hornet fleet since August.
The crew of the F/A-18F, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 213 (VF-213) at NAS Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia, ejected and were recovered from the water a mile east of the runway. The pilot and weapons systems officer later were declared dead at a local hospital. The aircraft had been on a training flight, Naval Air Force Atlantic said in a March 14 release.
NAS Key West is used by Navy strike fighter squadrons for air combat maneuver training. The cause of the mishap is currently under investigation.
The last accident involving the loss of a Super Hornet occurred last summer. On Aug. 12, an F/A-18E assigned to VFA-146 made an emergency landing at Bahrain during which the pilot ejected. The aircraft was determined beyond economic repair and stricken from the Navy’s inventory on Nov. 17.