Grumman EA-6B Prowler, BuNo 159910, of VMAQ-2 Detachment Y, crash landed on flight deck of USS Nimitz, off the Florida coast, killing 14 crewmen and injuring 45 others (some reports say 42, some 48). The crash was the result of the aircraft missing the last arresting cable, while ignoring a wave-off command. Two Grumman F-14 Tomcats struck and destroyed (BuNos. 161138 and 160385), 3 F-14s, 9 LTV A-7 Corsair IIs, 3 S-3A Vikings, 1 Grumman A-6 Intruder and 1 SH-3 Sea King damaged. Forensic testing conducted found that several members of the deceased flight deck crew tested positive for marijuana (the officers on board the aircraft were never tested, claimed one report). The responsibility for the accident was placed on the deck crew. The official naval inquiry stated that the accident was the result of drug abuse by the enlisted crewmen of the Nimitz, despite the fact that every death occurred during the impact of the crash, none of the enlisted deck crew were involved with the operation of the aircraft, and not one member of the deck crew was killed fighting the fire. As a result of this incident, President Ronald Reagan instituted a “Zero Tolerance” policy across all of the armed services—which started the mandatory drug testing of all US service personnel. In another report, however, the Navy stated that pilot error, possibly caused by an excessive dosage of brompheniramine, a cold medicine, in the blood of pilot Marine 1st Lt. Steve E. White, of Houston, Texas, “may have degraded the mental and physical skills required for night landings.” The report described brompheniramine as “a common antihistamine decongestant cold medicine ingredient.” “Last October , Rep. Joseph P. Addabbo, (D-N.Y.) said that an autopsy conducted on the pilot’s body disclosed up to 11 times the recommended dosage of a cold remedy in his system.” This report seems to bely the above account that no testing was done on the flight crew.
28 September or 30 September (sources differ)
During a NAVAIR weapons release test over the Chesapeake Bay, a McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18A-3-MC Hornet, BuNo 160782, c/n 8, out of NAS Patuxent River, Maryland, drops a vertical ejector bomb rack with an inert Mk. 82 bomb from the port wing, which shears off the outer starboard wing of Douglas TA-4J Skyhawk camera chase plane, BuNo 156896, c/n 13989, which catches fire as it begins an uncontrolled spin. Two crew successfully eject before the Skyhawk impacts in the bay, the whole sequence caught on film from a second chase aircraft. Video of this accident is widely available on the web.
A United States Navy Grumman EA-6B Prowler, BuNo 159582, ‘AC-604’, of VAQ-138, from NAS Whidbey Island, Washington, crashes at 0850 hrs. in a rural field near Virginia Beach, Virginia, killing three crew. Wreckage sprayed onto nearby houses, a barn and a stable with 35 horses, but no fires were sparked and there were no ground injuries. The Prowler had departed NAS Norfolk with three other aircraft at 0832 hrs., bound for the USS John F. Kennedy, off the Virginia coast before crashing three miles from NAS Oceana. Navy officials said they did not know if the pilot was trying for Oceana.
Marine Corps Colonel Jerry Cadick, then commanding officer of MAG-11, was performing stunts at the MCAS El Toro Air Show. California, before a crowd of 300,000 when he crashed his McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornet at the bottom of a loop that was too close to the ground. The aircraft was in a nose-high attitude, but still carrying too much energy toward the ground when it impacted at more than 300 mph (480 km/h). Col. Cadick was subjected to extremely high G forces that resulted in his face making contact with the control stick and sustaining serious injury. He broke his arm, elbow and ribs, exploded a vertebra and collapsed a lung. Col. Cadick survived and retired from the Marine Corps. The F/A-18 remained largely intact but was beyond repair.
A U.S. Navy Grumman EA-6B Prowler, BuNo 163044, ‘NG’, of VAQ-139, goes missing over the Pacific Ocean during training exercise 900 miles off San Diego. Search fails to find any sign of the four crew.
A U.S. Navy McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornet from Cecil Field, NAS Jacksonville, Florida, loses a 950-pound training bomb over Waldo, Florida, in the afternoon. The ordnance narrowly misses home with four inside, bounces off tree, skips over a second home, and impacts in a field where the spotting charge explodes. No one is injured in the incident. Navy spokesman Bert Byers states that the pilot lost track of the bomb after it fell off the jet.
Mid-air collision between two Blue Angels McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 aircraft during a practice session at El Centro. One airplane, Angel Number 2, 161524, piloted by Capt. Chase Moseley (ejected) was destroyed and the other, Angel Number 1, badly damaged but managed to land safely. Both pilots survived unharmed.
Crew of an US Navy Grumman A-6E Intruder, ‘506’, of VA-176, suffering engine fire, aim bomber away from Virginia Beach, Virginia oceanfront before ejecting just after take-off from NAS Oceana, Virginia’s Runway 5. Bomber comes down at 2215 hrs. in the Atlantic Ocean ~.75 miles offshore, after just clearing the Station One Hotel, on-shore breeze carries crew inland about three blocks from the beach, one landing in a tree, the other in a courtyard of a condominium, suffering only cuts and bruises. Aircraft, on routine training mission, was unarmed. Officials did not identify the crew, but said the pilot was a 29-year old lieutenant, and the bombardier-navigator was a 34-year old lieutenant commander, both assigned to VA-176.
A Royal Australian Air Force McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18A Hornet, A21-041, of 75 Squadron, crashes 100 kilometres NE of Weipa, Queensland. The pilot was killed. The wreckage was found in July 1994.
A United States Navy Grumman EA-6B Prowler crashes in field near NAS El Centro, California. The three crewmen ejected at a very low altitude while inverted, and all were killed. Crew included Lt. Charles Robert Gurley (USN), Lt. Peter Limoge (USMC), and Ltjg. Dave Roberts (USN).
A Marine Corps McDonnell-Douglas F-18 Hornet went down off Charleston, South Carolina, with two pilots aboard. The search for the Marine pilots was called off 10 March.
Static test Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet airframe, ST56, being barricade tested at NAES Lakehurst, New Jersey by being powered down a 1.5-mile (2.4 km) track by a Pratt & Whitney J57-powered jet car, flips over and crashes into nearby woods when the steel cable linking the barrier with underground hydraulic engines fails
Main article: Cavalese cable car disaster (1998)
A U.S. Marine Corps Grumman EA-6B Prowler, BuNo 163045, coded ‘CY-02’, callsign Easy 01, of VMAQ-2, struck a cable supporting a gondola in Cavalese. The cable was severed and 20 people in the cabin plunged over 80 metres to their deaths. The aircraft had wing and tail damage but was able to return to the base
A Swiss Air Force McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornet crashes near Crans-Montana, Switzerland.
A US Navy McDonnell-Douglas FA-18C Hornet from VFA-106 crashed near Fort Pierce, Florida, during a ferry flight from NAS Oceana, Virginia, to NAS Key West, Florida. Pilot was killed.
A USMC McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18D Hornet from VMFA-533 crash lands at Twentynine Palms, California. Both aircrew eject but the WSO, while hospitalized, dies from his injuries.
Two Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornets collide during air combat manoeuvring off the Southern California coast and crash into Pacific 80 mi SW of Monterey, California. All four crew (two Pilots and two WSOs) are killed while flying (KWF).
An McDonnell-Douglas FA-18C Hornet from VFA-34 failed to return to USS George Washington from a night at sea bombing mission and crashed into Adriatic Sea. Pilot was killed.
A US Marine Corps McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18D Hornet crashes into the Pacific Ocean off of MCAS Miramar, California, due to a material failure during a functional check flight with one engine shut down. Both crew eject safely and are recovered.
While landing aboard USS George Washington, operating off the Virginia Capes, an McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18D-32-MC Hornet (Lot 13), BuNo 164198, c/n 961/DO63, ‘AD 432’, of VFA-106, goes off the angle at ~1600 hrs. when the arresting cable parts, pilot ejects and is recovered. The broken cable, whipping back across the deck, injures eleven deck crew, the most serious of which are airlifted to shore medical facilities. Footage: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7OxMox2Kdxs&feature=related
Captain Chris Stricklin ejects from his F-16 at an air show in September 2003.
US Navy McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18C Hornet, of VFA-82, crashes into the Atlantic Ocean near Tybee Island, Georgia. Pilot ejects safely and is rescued.
Two US Marine Corps McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornets of VMFA-134, 3rd Marine Air Wing, based at MCAS Miramar, California, suffer mid-air collision over the Columbia River, 120 miles (190 km) E of Portland, Oregon, shortly after 1430 hrs., killing Marine Reservists Maj. Gary R. Fullerton, 36, of Spartanburg, South Carolina, and Capt. Jeffrey L. Ross, 36, of Old Hickory, Tennessee in F/A-18B, BuNo 162870, ‘MF-00’, coming down in the river. Maj. Craig Barden, 38, ejects from F/A-18A, BuNo 163097, ‘MF-04’, landing nearby on a hillside W of Arlington, Oregon, and is taken to Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, suffering minor injuries. All three crew eject but only two parachutes open. The fighters were on their way to the Boardman Air Force Range, where the Oregon Air National Guard trains, when they collided, said one spokesman. Another spokesman told the Associated Press that the aircraft were on a low-altitude training exercise.[
A US Navy McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18C Hornet of VMFA-212 crashes at Manbulloo Station about 10 M SW of RAAF Tindal, Australia, during a day approach to landing. The pilot ejects and is injured.
A U.S. Navy McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18C Hornet crashes 15 miles E of Nellis AFB, Nevada, after in flight fire and becoming uncontrollable shortly after takeoff. Pilot ejects safely.
The pilot of a Blue Angels McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, BuNo 161956, ejects approximately one mile off Perdido Key, Florida, after reporting mechanical problems and loss of power. Lt. Ted Steelman suffered minor injuries and fully recovered.
A Boeing F/A-18 Super Hornet crashes into ocean while landing on USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63). The No. 3 arresting wire snapped, resulting in the aircraft plunging into the Pacific Ocean 100 miles SE of Yokosuka, Japan, hitting an SH-60F and an EA-6B Prowler en route to the water. Crew LTJG Jon Vanbragt, LCDR Markus Gudmundsson ejected safely.
A Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet and a Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet from NAS Lemoore, California, collide over the China Lake, California, weapons testing ground. The pilot of the E is KWF, while the two crew of F eject with injuries.
Main article: 2007 Blue Angels South Carolina crash
A United States Navy Blue Angels McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornet, BuNo 162437, crashes into a residential neighborhood while performing at an airshow in Beaufort, South Carolina, in the United States, killing the pilot. Military investigators blame pilot for his fatal crash. A report obtained by The Associated Press said that Lieutenant Commander Kevin Davis got disoriented and crashed after not properly tensing his abdominal muscles to counter the gravitational forces of a high-speed turn.[9
A Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet has a mid air collision with a Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet over the North Persian Gulf during routine ops from the USS Harry S Truman. One pilot ejects and is recovered.
Two United States Navy jets collided over the NAS Fallon, Nevada high desert training range, killing a pilot of the McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18C Hornet, based at NAS Oceana, Virginia. Two crew aboard the F-5 Tiger ejected safely and were rescued.
Main article: 2008 San Diego F-18 crash
A USMC McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18D Hornet, BuNo 164017, crashed into a neighborhood, University City, coming down two miles (3 km) west of MCAS Miramar, California, just after the Marine pilot, Lieutenant Dan Neubauer, from VMFAT-101, ejected. Four fatalities on the ground. The Hornet was being flown from the USS Abraham Lincoln. The commander of the fighter squadron involved in the crash, its top maintenance officer and two others have been relieved of duty as a result of the crash investigation. The pilot has been grounded pending a further review, Maj. Gen. Randolph Alles announced in March 2009.
A Spanish Air Force F/A-18 Hornet crashes in northern Spain. Pilot ejects safely.
Two Spanish Air Force McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18 Hornets collide in midair near the Canary Islands, Spain. Both pilots eject safely.
A United States Marine Corps McDonnell Douglas F/A-18D Hornet (164729) from the Marine All Weather Fighter Attack Squadron No. 224 VMFA(AW)-224 based at the Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Beaufort, South Carolina experiences a heavy landing at Jacksonville International Airport, Duval County, Florida. The aircraft with two other Marine F/A-18 Hornet aircraft were landing at Jacksonville Airport in preparation for a flyover at the nearby NFL Jacksonville Jaguars game when the aircraft experiences an airborne technical fault and the port landing-gear collapses causing the aircraft to land only on the nose-wheel, starboard undercarriage and the exposed port-side external fuel-tank. The F/A-18 Hornet skidded down the runway with most damage occurring to the grounded external fuel-tank and the 2 Marine crew were uninjured.
A Finnish Air Force (FinAF) McDonnell-Douglas F-18 Hornet crashed in the south of the country. The fighter crashed in Juuapajoki, north of the southern city of Tampere at about 11:50 local time. The two pilots, who were on a routine training flight, ejected safely and were uninjured.
A United States Marine Corps (USMC) McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18D Hornet, BuNo 164694, ‘WK-01’, from VMFA (AW)-224 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean, app. 35 miles (56 km) east of St. Helena Sound, South Carolina, after a double engine failure and a fire. Both pilots ejected and were floating in an inflatable life raft for about one hour before they were rescued by a USCG helicopter.
A Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) McDonnell-Douglas CF-18 Hornet, 188738, of 419 Moose Squadron, based at Cold Lake, crashed at Lethbridge County Airport during a low-speed, low-altitude practice run for the Alberta International Airshow. The pilot, Capt. Brian Bews, 36, ejected in a Martin-Baker seat seconds before the fighter fell off on its starboard wing and impacted on the airfield. He suffered a compression fracture in three vertebrae but is expected to fully recover
A USN F/A-18C Hornet, BuNo 165184, ‘AD-351’, suffered port undercarriage collapse on landing at NAF El Centro, California, at 1615 hrs., and departs runway. The pilot ejects safely
Ten sailors are injured when an engine of a USMC McDonnell-Douglas F/A-18C Hornet of VMFAT-101 based at MCAS Miramar, California, suffers a catastrophic failure while preparing for launch at 1450 hrs. during routine training exercises from the USS John C. Stennis, ~100 miles off the California coast. USN Cmdr. Pauline Storum said that five of the injured are taken by helicopter to the shore, four to the Naval Medical Center, San Diego, and one to Scripps Research Institute at La Jolla, California. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening but the fighter sustained damages over $1 million. The ensuing fire was quickly extinguished and the carrier itself was not damaged.
A USN Boeing F/A-18F Super Hornet on a training flight crashed into a dry lake bed 30 miles from Naval Air Station Fallon. The crew was recovered by helicopter.
A McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet of the USN crashed on take-off from Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia Beach, Virginia. Both crew ejected. The aircraft crashed into a block of apartment complexes. No ground injuries were reported. However, another report states that the pilot and one individual on the ground suffered unspecified injuries of unknown severity. CNN U.S. News confirmed that the crew had ejected, but their condition is not specified.
A USMC McDonnell Douglas F/A-18C Hornet crashed in a remote range area of the Fallon Range Training Complex, The pilot ejected from the aircraft safely.
A USMC Grumman EA-6B Prowler crashed during a scheduled low-level flight. 3 fatalities.
A Swiss Air Force (SwAF) McDonnell Douglas F/A-18 Hornet crashed into a mountain side near Alpnachstad. Both pilots died in the crash.
A USN Boeing F/A-18E Super Hornet of VFA-143 crashed off Virginia, pilot was rescued.
An F/A-18E Super Hornet of VFA-81 Sun Liners crashed while trying to land on the USS. Carl Vinson off the coast of Southern California .Pilot ejected safely.