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: Read more
US Marine Corps pilot Maj Duane Litpak and his backseat weapons officer Capt Jonathan Hutchison reportedly ejected from their two-seat F/A-18D off the coast of South Carolina. Both were safely recovered by Coast Guard helicopters. Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, the jet’s home base, is a training base for Marine F/A-18 crews.
The public reaction from the Marines is an interesting contrast with the Air Force. In general, the Air Force will say only that an incident has occurred and that a board will convene to investigate it, while often keeping the crew out of the limelight. By contrast, the Marines almost immediately published photos of the two climbing out of the Coast Guard chopper, and explained in detail that the crew had to slow their aircraft to a safe ejection speed and abandon the aircraft due to a fire.