2 killed in F/A-18 crash in California
An F/A-18 such as this one crashed in California during a training flight Wednesday.
April 6th, 2011
07:46 PM ET

2 killed in F/A-18 crash in California

[Updated at 7:46 p.m. ET] Two crew members on a routine training flight were killed Wednesday when an F/A-18F aircraft crashed near Naval Air Station Lemoore in central California, the U.S. Navy said.

Capt. James Knapp, commanding officer of the station, told reporters the plane, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 122, crashed at 12:08 p.m. PT (3:08 p.m. ET) in a private farm field about one half mile west of the property line.

The crash of the two-seat strike fighter, which occurred southwest of Fresno, is under investigation, Knapp said.

The names of the Super Hornet crew, a pilot and weapons system operator, were being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

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soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Mike

    John, I hope you sleep well under the blanket of freedom 'those bozos' have provided for you. Way to show respect to men who gave their lives while in uniform serving our country. My heart goes out to their families.

    April 6, 2011 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Herbert

    Good posting,John. Just ignore these uneducated nitwits here. I doubt that any of them ever finished high school.

    April 6, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. John N. Florida

    Has any information been released on the F-18 model?
    I've seen reports of 2 pilots which would indicate the B model, a flight trainer.
    If it's the E/F or D it would be 1 pilot and a REO.

    April 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ME

      John N. Florida – to answer your question the United States Navy F/A-18F is a two-seat model.

      April 7, 2011 at 1:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. nur amabo nur

    Deepest sympathy to the families and friends, this is tragic. The people/civilians who are in touch with reality would be quick to point out that the military works for the government. With all due respect to the veterans and current enlisted please wake up and realize you are puppets and your controllers have abandoned your families here at home. The current wars are not being supported by us civilians, only the government wants you to stay away from home. Average citizens do not have any say where our military goes, as proven with Libya. Come home we could really use you at the southern border.

    April 6, 2011 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey

    Americans used to take the sacrifices of members of its armed forces much more seriously than far too many of these comments indicate that we do now.
    Whether a soldier or sailor gives his life in actual combat or a training accident, the sacrifice is terrible.
    I can't expect everyone to react the way I do to the solemnity of such an event. I think that many reactions different from mine are based on a desire for all money spent on defense to be diverted to social programs.
    I am blessed by my physical nature and my training to have too much pride to accept as a gift from the government any funds that should go to our military power.

    April 7, 2011 at 5:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. Navywife

    I worked with these pilots everyday for the last year, they were brothers to me. Tomorrows workday is going to be so hard, please pray for there families, this includes the others pilots and student pilots that worked with them, this is going to be hard on them, they are the ones who are going to have to risk there lives again. My job is secret, but what I can tell you is that the student pilots are put through a very hard training schedule for a long time, no one graduates if they are less than 100%. This is not "no child left behind". If they do not have the skills they don't become fighter pilots. Whatever happened out there yesterday, my family members did eveything they could do. RIP I will catch you on the other side my dear sweet friends.

    April 7, 2011 at 7:13 am | Report abuse |
  7. Lori Hocott

    Josh! I am with you! I am sorry for the lost and from across the country I feel your pain as well. I am sorry for your lost of friends as well as shipmates. And I 100% agree they were doing what they LOVED! My heart goes out to all of you who have to go through this there as well as their families and friends near anad far.

    April 7, 2011 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
  8. Paige

    Those were my brothers friends....and no they weren't trainees....it was just a training flight. My brother left that unit last week

    April 7, 2011 at 11:20 am | Report abuse |
  9. LWATCDR

    Wow CNN can't you get the right stock picture?
    1. That is an Austrian F18 Hornet.
    2. It isn't a Super Hornet.
    The Super Hornet is a much different aircraft than the older Hornet. It is about 30% larger and much more modern. I mean really how hard would it have been to find a Picture of a US Navy Super Hornet? Wait here is one. http://gadgetophilia.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/f-18-super-hornet.jpg

    April 7, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  10. ProudNavyWife

    Yes, RUFFNUT, I finished high "school", not scholl. And if you are bashing these fallen heroes I am definitely calling you an idiot, as well as anyone else who does so. And I know they weren't drafted, which is all the MORE reason why they are heroes. They knew full well the risks they were taking, and yet they served anyway. My husband has been in the Navy 35 years, 25 of which we've been married. My step-father is retired Navy, as well. I have met and known hundreds, if not thousands of these heroes over the past 30 years. The jerks bashing these pilots and other military on this site aren't good enough to shine these guys' shoes, or scrub their latrines. Go back to your video games in your mom's basements and leave the real men to take care of you and the rest of the world. Because they are still willing to die to protect your sorry selves, as opposed to you, who care about no one BUT your sorry selves.

    April 7, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • RUFFNUTT

      Sorry ProudNavyWife, I meant to say "school",not "scholl" in the post. You say that I care only for myself? That definately isn't true! Of course I care,I care mostly for the poor people who happen to find themselves on the receiving end of our ungodly military weapons such as those cursed drones that we're currently using in both Afghanistan and Pakistan!!!

      April 7, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      Beautifully said,RUFFNUTT. I totally agree with you but I think that the problem with some of these people who disagree with you is not so much ignorance as it is arrogance and self-righteousness! That's my opinion but I could be wrong.

      April 7, 2011 at 7:16 pm | Report abuse |
  11. witheld

    I work with these two brave individuals. I am absolutely sickened by the comments I've read here. I was on the flight line when it happened and to the idiots posting smart ass and disrespectful things on this story I just have to say I hope that your friends co workers and loved ones don't ever have to deal with anything like this and read joking comments like the ones you wrote.

    Horrible feeling when you are frantically scanning for chutes and not seeing them and realizing what that means.

    April 7, 2011 at 7:46 pm | Report abuse |
  12. exploit

    The picture chosen for this tragic story is a poor one. The F/A 18 comes in several models,A thru F. A, C, & E are single seat aircraft like the Model A or C pictured. The B, D & F versions are tandem two seat models. If the aircraft that crashed was from Strike Fighter Squadron122 then the plane was likely a relatively new model F as 122 is what is referred to as a fleet replacement squadron (for training and refresher training of winged Navy pilots) for the newer Super Hornet aircraft.

    None of the above is all that important but I have seen some misinformed posts.

    You should also know this aircraft has ejection seats, but the crew members sometimes don't get out if there is a sudden, low level, catastrophic mechanical or airframe failure.

    For now is it not enough to keep the smart-ass comments to a minimum and show some respect to these courageous, smart, patriotic Americans?

    April 7, 2011 at 10:50 pm | Report abuse |
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