Virginia F-18 Crash Caused by Rare Double-Engine Failure

The US Navy has long relied on two-engine aircraft because, when you’re flying only over blue water, it likes the reassuring backup of a second engine.  (The acceptance of the single-engine F-35 was a significant event.)

Unfortunately, sometimes two engines haven’t been enough, as with the F/A-18 Hornet crash last April in Virginia.  The recently released report says both engines failed shortly after takeoff: 

An unprecedented dual engine failure caused an F/A-18D Hornet flying a training mission to crash into a Virginia Beach apartment building this spring, Navy officials said.

Apparently, the two independent failures were technically recoverable, but when the occurred so close together — and so close to the ground — it was a very challenging emergency to face.

Both aircrew survived, and no one on the ground was killed — despite the incineration of an apartment complex — leading some to dub the incident a “miracle.”