April 6th, 2012
05:35 PM ET

Navy jet crashes into apartments in Virginia

[Updated at 6:05 p.m. ET] A Navy fighter jet experienced a "catastrophic mechanical malfunction" during takeoff Friday over the military community of Virginia Beach, Virginia, and rained a stench of jet fuel shortly before crashing into apartment buildings, according to residents and Navy officials.

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The jet carried a student pilot in the front seat and an experienced instructor behind him, and the dumping of jet fuel was "one of the indications that there was a mechanical malfunction," Navy Capt. Mark Weisgerber told reporters.

The malfunction is being investigated, he said.

The two pilots, a police officer and three other people were taken to Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, Dr. Thomas Thames, the hospital's vice president of medical affairs, told CNN affiliate WAVY.

None of the injuries was considered life-threatening, Thames said.

Virginia Beach Mayor William Sessoms told CNN that nine people suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

The crash and explosion ruptured the easy mood of spring break and the unfolding Easter and Passover holiday weekend, and the two-seater F/A-18 jet landed eerily upright in flames in a courtyard surrounded by five apartment buildings suddenly set afire, according to residents and authorities.

The two crew members ejected safely, the Navy said. Resident Pat Kavanaugh told CNN affiliate WTKR that he and others found one of them still strapped to his seat with a lacerated face. Kavanaugh said he was on his couch when he heard a loud boom and was startled to see a parachute hanging from the building.

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soundoff (259 Responses)
  1. Pure Beauty Boudoir

    To those people that feel the need to express their RUDE comments about the pilots and the entire situation. You better be THANKING those that are in harms way fighting for your right to say STUPID stuff like that.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mac

    there ya go finally! karma for the pilot! its what you get for training for war! Hope hes dead

    April 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • doubler

      Mac, you are a 25-watt bulb in a 100-watt world.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack from Tennessee

      So wrong... So wrong.. You should be ashamed

      April 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • The1calleddoc

      your an idiot and I despise people like u.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nature's Awe

      Obviously half your brain cells are dead and the other half are contaminated. Please move on to burning insects with a mangnifying glass – it seems to right up your alley!

      April 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      That is terrible...you should be ashamed to say that.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ross

      Do us all a favor and kiss a 12 gauge and pull the trigger

      April 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      Actually, d-bag, the pilots ejected.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Beach GIrl

      YOU PIG!!!! YOU DONT LIKE YOUR FREEDOM, LEAVE! We don't need people like you here. You're a poison and waste of space.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joshua

      Jerk.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mackenzie

      Mac karma will come to get your for those disgusting, ignorant, and classless words. You should be ashamed that you waste space on this earth.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • navy mom

      You, sir, are a first class jerk.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • David M

      mac....you're a jacka$$ of the lowest order.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Herne

      What an incredibly awful and ignorant thing to say........

      I on the other hand... hope the pilot and anyone else involved, are safe. I hope those apartments were not occupied.

      Yes .... WAR is dumb. I agree... violence begets violence. Soldiers CANNOT be blamed for the ignorance and greed of politicians.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • JT

      Shut up, you @ss.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • juice122

      What kind of human being are you? You should be thankful that people like this chose to defend your freedom to be able to say such a horrible thing.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lori Toyne

      Mac, as a mother to two sons who are fighting to keep you safe and free and unfortunately giving you the opportunity to make such horrible remarks. Isn't there enough hate in the world? Our prayers are with the pilots, family, squadron and anyone else affected by this tragedy, and even you Mac as you obviously need them.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • hahaha

      prolly forgot to gas her up this morning.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bridgette

      He's doing his job and you hope he's dead. Kharma is a "jewel" and you will get yours. I'll be sure to say an extra prayer for you today. All the negativity you put in the world... you'll need the prayers.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Claudette

      Well, Mac, thankfully both pilots are ALIVE! Shame on you!

      April 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Spk9

      Drop dead.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • jpayne85

      mac, if that's truly your opinion than I can't sit here and say you're wrong. but this isn't the place to post stupid sh!t like that. go troll somewhere else.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Rich

      you're in idiot

      April 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • ranchmom5

      IMaybe you should go live in the Middle East-May God Bless you becuase you certainly need it!

      April 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • coldtexan

      Mac – appears to be a child that can't accept the prices that so many families have paid for his 'right' to post his trash. Mac, you suck as a human, please don't count yourself as anything other than a slug on the next census...assuming you and your inbred clan report such cancers to our government.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • TMR

      Mac is Wack

      April 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      mac i wish i knew where you were then you would be dead, your an idiot and a sad individual, how could you be happy about a pilot dying? you must be part of the westboro baptist church. go screw yourself

      April 6, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Kirk

      I bet the dilithium chamber lost containment.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • kbdvm2b

      Mac – you should be ashamed of yourself. You hate war yet you cowardly hide behind your computer and wish death to the very people that fight for your freedom to be such a moron?! You should be thanking the brave men and women that fight for these rights you take for granted.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • vet

      Are you an American? Because I'm pretty sure he was training to save your stupid little life you ignorant bas*ard.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • NoodleHat

      Herne: They definitely can be held accountable. If they had any real strength, they would not participate in unjust wars. "I was following orders" is the remark of a weakling. A truly strong person will protest the unjust even if it means the forfeit of their life. Every soldier is accountable. I have family that serves, I consider them corrupt and guilty.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gar

      How could you ever say something like that!? Whats wrong with having a strong military defence? America certainly isn't the only country with a powerful military. I can't believe you are happy someone is dead! That is disgusting! You are a disgrace to humanity.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gar

      What did this pilot ever do to deserve death? People die to protect others. Without those kind of heroic people, like that pilot, many people here wouldn't be on the forums right now. Can you guess why? From what I understand from this article, I believe the jet had some kind of malfunction. It will be a miracle if no one is dead. How could you ever say something like that?

      April 6, 2012 at 1:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. NavyMom

    My son in law is stationed there and he, my daughter and granddaughter live nearby. Thank goodness they are on their way here to Maryland as I type this and NOT in VA Beach. However, has anyone reported which complex was hit? The live in an apartment complex near the base. She is always complaining about the jet noise and how low they fly. I pray no one was hurt or killed in this terrible accident!

    April 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maida85

      It's Mayfair Mews apartments

      April 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • rhami008

      The apartment complex it went down in is call Mayfair Mews Apartments.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      Mayfair Mews Apts

      April 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Kirk

      Tell your daughter to get over herself. Oh no! Planes flying low and loud! Snobs.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Maida85

    I'm from this area and the jet DID crash into an entire apartment building. No fatalities so far but pilots are injured but okay. This is serious and nothing to joke about. If someone had a crash into their neighborhood, they'd for sure want to know what's going on and make sure everyone is safe.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. chris

    MAC IS LOOKING FOR ATTENTION CAUSE HIS WIFE CHEATED ON HIM.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. goodegyptian

    black people should not fly fighter planes. they don't know how to crash it into the river or ocean before they eject themselves.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • LOL

      Aw, someone needs a hug!

      April 6, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jack from Tennessee

      Ygoodegyptian you are an inbred idiot!!!!

      April 6, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Aja

      You're an ignorant coward racist who hides behind Windows 7. Drop dead.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  7. The1calleddoc

    Sounds like those pilots saved lives by flying as long as they could dumping fuel. Oorah navy!

    April 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  8. me

    Hey, when the jet loses power – you can no longer control it or influence it in any direction. It's time to get out of the aircraft.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

    If you people are going to waste time praying… shouldn’t you at least pray the almighty goes back in time and prevents this from happening at all? O wait… That’s right..this is all part of the big “mysterious ways” plan. So you are praying to change god’s plan?

    April 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Samps

      Using your beliefs as an excuse to belittle, insult, and look down on those who don't share your beliefs, and without provocation. Are you sure you're not a closeted religious extremist? You've got the same annoying tendencies and you're a self-righteous jerk, just like them.
      Just to be safe, I declare you an honorary religious zealot.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son.

      @Samp
      Pot meet kettle.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Swamps

      Using your beliefs as an excuse to belittle, insult, and look down on those who don't share your beliefs, and without provocation.(even though it was brought up already (read the other comments) Are you sure you're not a closeted hypocritical extremist? You've got the same annoying tendencies and you're a self-righteous jerk, just like them.
      Just to be safe, I declare you an honorary hypocritical zealot.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. say it ain't so

    And CNN brings in Chad Meyers ( aka. the weatherman) to give expert commentary on the f 18 (because he rode in one once... and he flies a cessna 152 on weekends) The same man who talked about how the 80' truck trailers flying around in the tornado in Dallas. ( most trailers are less then 53 foot) Give us a break CNN, get someone with knowledge.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Captain Kirk

      CNN is NOT somewhere you go for facts. Ever.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Ross

    I hope no one was killed. I used to work at NAS Oceanca with VFA-131 a few years ago when I was still in the Navy. Of all days to happen it happens on the day all the kids aren't in school...

    April 6, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dana

      A retirement community so prayerfully there will not be any kids there and the adults will be at work.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:39 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jack from Tennessee

    Me and the fam go to Va Beach yearly... Jets fly over all the time... This was bound to happen eventually

    April 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  13. C

    An American plane crashing? That's nothing new.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Julie Manthey

    while we are used to low-flying jets in virginia beach, this is something I've always worried about–so heavily populated and we live about a mile from the scene.

    April 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
  15. mac

    I hope his corpse rots in hell! you wanna kill innocent people in iraq and afghanistan? This is what you get

    April 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Big mac

      I don't take lip from your mother and i'm not going to take it from you. Don't make me climb this tree!

      April 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gar

      I hope you rot in hell Mac.

      April 6, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Report abuse |
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