A second USMC F-18C Hornet has crashed in less than a week. This crash comes only days after a USMC F-18C crash that killed Major Sterling Norton last Friday.
A Marine F/A-18C Hornet crashed five miles east of Naval Air Station Fallon, located approximately 60 miles east of Carson City. The aircraft was from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, based at MCAS Miramar, CA. This is the same squadron as last week’s crash VMFA-232, Lucas Tomlinson of FoxNews reported (@LucasFoxNews).
Photos of the crash scene support that report.
The pilot was able to safely eject but was taken to a local hospital. He was reported to have been walking before being transported to the medical facility. The pilot was about 10 miles southeast of Fallon and returning to base when the jet crashed around 10:45 a.m. local time, NAS Fallon base public affairs said in a release.
Additionally, the base public affairs said the VMFA-232 jet was on loan from the squadron to the Strike Fighter Wing Pacific detachment Fallon. A loaned jet normally happens when a pilot from the squadron is going through the TOPGUN course. Squadrons will send a pilot as well as provide a jet for the pilot to train with.
The flight was a functional check flight (known in pilot lingo as an “FCF” or “Pro”). A functional check flight occurs after maintenance has been performed. The jet is flown through a series of tests to make sure it is considered safe for flight.
It is not uncommon to find additional maintenance problems with the jet during an FCF. Therefore, pilots who perform FCF’s are senior and must have Commanding Officer approval.
You can read the local news report here.
Top Photo Credit: A vertical stabilizer is seen from a VMFA-232 Red Devils jet that crashed near Fallon, NV. Sinclair Broadcasting Group
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