Navy jet crashes - kills pilot

Discussion in 'Aviation' started by Thorlifter, Oct 30, 2014.

  1. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    :(

    Jet on Navy training mission crashes, kills pilot - Yahoo News

    PORT HUENEME, Calif. (AP) — A jet on a military training exercise crashed into an agricultural field near a Southern California Navy base Wednesday, killing the pilot, authorities said.

    The plane disintegrated when it hit the ground at about 5:15 p.m. as it was preparing to land at Naval Station Ventura County. The crash sent a huge plume of billowing black smoke into the sky 65 miles northwest of Los Angeles.

    The pilot, the only person aboard, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Ventura County fire Capt. Mike Lindbery.

    Nobody on the ground was hurt.

    "Fortunately nobody was in that portion of the field," Lindbery said.

    The plane, a civilian fighter jet contracted by the Navy, had just finished playing the role of an enemy aircraft in an offshore training exercise and was preparing to land at the naval station when it went down across the street in a field near the Pacific Coast Highway, base spokeswoman Kimberly Gearhart said.

    She said it was unclear whether the pilot reported any problems before the crash.

    Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating.

    The British-built, single-seat Hawker Hunter MK.58 was owned by Airborne Tactical Advantage Co. of Newport News, Virginia. The company, known as ATAC, provides aerial training to the military, including the Navy's elite Fighter Weapons School.

    "The company has ceased flight operations during preliminary investigations," company spokesman Matt Bannon said.

    Bannon declined to release the pilot's name but said he was a retired military pilot who was "extremely proficient and knowledgeable about fighter tactics and operating high-performance aircraft."

    "Our heart and prayers are with the family," Bannon said.

    The Hawker Hunter is a single-seat, swept-wing fighter and ground attack plane that was originally designed in the 1950s. More than 2,000 were produced. ATAC describes it as "one of the classic fighter designs of all time."

    Wednesday's crash was the third near the Ventura County base in recent years.

    In May 2012, another Hawker Hunter owned by ATAC crashed into a farm field near the base, killing the 57-year-old pilot. That plane had also been contracted to play the enemy in training exercises.

    In May 2011, three members aboard a Boeing 707 tanker loaded with jet fuel escaped with only minor injuries when their aircraft skidded off the runway while taking off from the base and exploded into flames. That plane was carrying civilians and had a Navy contract to provide fuel transport.
     
  2. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    What a sad tragedy, but I'm curious...what is the U.S. Navy doing using vintage aircraft in "enemy" roles?
     
  3. Shortround6

    Shortround6 Well-Known Member

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    The Navy is trying for "dis-similar" training. How to get an F-18 (or whatever modern jet) to "dog fight" an aircraft of vastly different capabilities, mostly in turn performance as the older planes have much lower wing loadings.


    Heart and prayers to Pilot, his family and co-workers.
     
  4. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    I'm always a bit taken aback by the amount of contracting being performed.
    I was not aware that contractors are being hired to "play the enemy in training exercises" or "to provide fuel transport."
    It seems that every few years the public inadvertently learns of yet more military services/tasks being performed by contractors.
    I wonder where the trend will take us?

    Blackwater (coyly renamed Academi) put contractors on mainstream media and into the public consciousness several years ago.
     
  5. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Dis-similar aircraft training using so-called "vintage" aircraft has been going on for years and is a cost saving advantage to the using agency. I've seen civilian owned L29s, L39, T-33s, MiG-15s, F-86s, A-4s, F-100s, Iskras, Fougas, Hawker Hunters, Kifirs, MiG-21s, C-123s, C-130s and F-4s used in a variety of roles. Please don't compare this to Blackwater as there is nothing covert about this work and if one was to go on https://www.fbo.gov/ you'll find these contracts are transparent and out in the open when they are posted. Sometimes government agencies just don’t have the assets available to them to complete a mission and will call on civilians who can support certain missions. I am proud to say I worked on a few of these contracts and they actually save the government millions.

    For example, when the B-1B was first being produced, there were no chase aircraft available for the production flight test program. Civilian owned F-5s were leased until F-106s could be brought out of the bone yard and refurbished for that mission.

    BTW, I worked on that 707 and got it its first airworthiness certificate. It was able to be converted into a tanker by "bolting on" a refueling package.
     
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  6. Aaron Brooks Wolters

    Aaron Brooks Wolters Well-Known Member

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    Thoughts and prayers go out to the family of the airman that lost his life.
     
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  7. pbehn

    pbehn Well-Known Member

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    So sad for this loss of life, and amazed that a Hawker Hunter does anything other than a fullest in this day and age
     
  8. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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  9. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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  10. Gnomey

    Gnomey World Travelling Doctor
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    Very sad to hear :( My condolences to the family of the pilot.
     
  11. GregP

    GregP Well-Known Member

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    I wonder if we could contract out the Presidency and the Congress? Maybe things would get getter!
     
  12. gjs238

    gjs238 Well-Known Member

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    I heard a rumor that the message board admins are considering contracting out message posting.
     
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