In what is now a widely read event, a Southwest Airlines 737 last week suffered a catastrophic engine failure that crippled the airplane and claimed the life of a passenger.
The pilot was Tammie Jo Shults, and her First Officer was Darren Ellisor.
A few news outlets have made a point of covering the fact Shults is a former fighter pilot, having flown F/A-18s for the Navy. A few have also noted her faith plays an important in her life and her profession:
Tammie Jo Shults…is a recognizable figure at the Texas Hill Country church, which averages 900 in worship. She has led the children’s worship program at First Baptist and taught Sunday School for children, middle schoolers, high schoolers and adults, said Staci Thompson, a longtime friend and administrative assistant in the church office…
Shults’ “biggest goal” amid the emergency landing and Read more
The US Navy reported that an F/A-18E Super Hornet shot down a Syrian Su-22 yesterday.
The US military hasn’t shot down a (manned) aircraft since 1999, when Read more
Two US Marine Corps F/A-18 Hornets collided off the coast of San Diego last week. One of the pilots ejected and was recovered; the other was able to land at Naval Station North Island.
This marks the latest in a steady stream of Marine Corps Hornet incidents that have claimed more than a half-dozen aircraft and several lives over the past year. Some media reports have implicated cost-cutting budget issues reducing training hours and Read more
The US Marine Corps ordered a safety stand down for all units of its (non-deployed) F/A-18s following a spate of Hornet crashes over the past few weeks:
The stand-down will provide “an operational pause for all [Marine Air Wings] not including deployed units,” said Capt. Sarah Burns, a spokesman for the Marines.
The pause will last one day and will be taken in the next seven days, Burns said. It will allow units to “discuss best practices and to look at ways to continue to improve,” she said.
Perhaps morbidly, the crashes appear to be creating Read more
Another F/A-18C, this one flown by the Navy (though on loan from the Marines), has crashed. The pilot ejected safely:
An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Wing Pacific, Detachment Fallon, crashed into an open field near Naval Air Station Fallon, Nevada, at approximately 10:50 a.m. PDT. The Navy pilot, who is assigned to Naval Aviation Warfighting Development Center, ejected safely from the aircraft…
This follows the crash last week of a Marine F/A-18 that Read more
The US Marine Corps reported that Maj. Richard “Stranger” Norton died last week when his F/A-18C Hornet crashed in southern California. His unit was reportedly in training for an upcoming deployment. The news releases called for prayers for his family without further detail.
Articles reporting on the crash highlighted the Marine Corps’ concern that their pilots aren’t receiving sufficient training hours due to budget constraints, causing them to lose “proficiency,” though not technically be unsafe.
Though often taken for granted, Read more
Two US Navy F/A-18 Super Hornets crashed last Thursday during a “routine training mission” off the North Carolina coast. All four crewmembers ejected safely.
The Navy initially reported only that they crashed, though it was a reasonable conclusion they collided (as confirmed later by the Navy):
The fighters were based in Virginia Beach and collided about 10:40 a.m., said Navy spokesman Ensign Mark Rockwellpate. Witnesses reported seeing four parachutes floating down into the Atlantic after the incident.
As with every incident, the Navy will investigate the mishap and report on it at some point in the coming months. Read more
The US Navy recently salvaged an F/A-18 Super Hornet from the floor of the Arabian Gulf. The fighter reportedly went down in July.
While the recovery out of nearly 200 feet of water is fascinating, equally interesting is how convinced some sailors were that they already knew why the jet had crashed: Read more