Admiral: F-18 Crash Outcome Defines “Miracle”

Admiral John Harvey, the four-star admiral commanding US Fleet Forces Command, had an interesting characterization of the Friday F/A-18D Hornet crash into an apartment complex in Virginia Beach:

“I don’t speak for anybody’s religious beliefs, but the mayor and I both agreed that if you want to define a miracle, what happened here yesterday meets that definition for me,” Adm. John Harvey, the four-star head of the U.S. Fleet Forces Command, told reporters.

He also noted the many prayers for the community: 

“I deeply regret that some in our community have lost their homes, and I, like many, pray for the well-being of all…”

The two-man crew ejected from their stricken Hornet just prior to its impact in a multi-building apartment complex.  Amazingly, all residents are accounted for in the “Good Friday miracle.”  Barring the discovery of an unexpected guest, it appears there were no deaths and only a few minor injuries as a result of the massive fireball and burned buildings following the fighter’s impact.

The jet was part of a training unit; the front seat pilot was a student, while the rear cockpit pilot was an instructor.  Like many military bases, Oceana Naval Air Station, from which the F/A-18 came, has struggled with encroachment and the building of residential communities in its flight paths.

Navy lawyers were already beginning the process for victims to lodge claims for property loss.

This crash follows the tragic F/A-18 crash in San Diego in 2008 that claimed almost all the members of one family.