Home » Aviation » Updated: Two F/A-18C Hornets Collided and Crashed Near Mariana Islands, One Pilot Missing


Updated: Two F/A-18C Hornets Collided and Crashed Near Mariana Islands, One Pilot Missing

F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the "Stingers" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-113) in 2009. US Navy Photo

F/A-18C Hornet assigned to the “Stingers” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA-113) in 2009. US Navy Photo

Two F/A-18C Hornets assigned to the carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) have crashed in the Pacific Ocean following a mid-air collision, Navy officials told USNI News on Friday morning. One pilot was recovered and one is still missing.

The search for the second pilot is ongoing.

“The search for the second pilot includes guided-missile cruiser USS Bunker Hill (CG-52) and guided-missile destroyer USS Gridley (DDG-101) and helicopters assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 15 (HSC 15) and Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 73 (HSM 73),” according to the release.

Both fighters went down near the Mariana Islands to the north of Guam, officials confirmed.

One Hornet was assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 94 “Mighty Shrikes” (VFA-94) and the other to Strike Fighter Squadron 113 “Stingers” (VFA-113).

Both squadrons are based Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.

The two aircraft have not been recovered and the cause of the crash is under investigation.

Vinson and Carrier Air Wing 17 left Naval Station Coronado, Calif. on Aug. 22 and is currently assigned to the U.S. 7th Fleet.

The carrier is in the vicinity of Guam in support of Exercise Valiant Shield 2014. The 180,000 troop exercise includes elements of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The exercise starts on Monday and will run until Sept. 23.

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Categories: Aviation, Budget Industry, News & Analysis, U.S. Navy
Sam LaGrone

About Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the USNI Online Editor at the U.S. Naval Institute.
He was formerly the U.S. Maritime Correspondent for the Washington D.C. bureau of Jane’s Defence Weekly and Jane’s Navy International. In his role he covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
Sam is a 2003 graduate of Virginia Military Institute.

  • OLLPOH

    We send our prayers and hope that our military members will be able to locate and make a successful and safe rescue for our lost pilot at sea and that he too will be okay. Thank YOU all from the bottom of all our hearts. God Bless YOU ALL!

    We will not allow a white flag planted on her soil…
    OLLPOH ~ Our Life Liberty Pursuit Of Happiness
    (Mr. and Mrs.)

  • aniptofar

    I’ve been seeing a lot of pilot selfies and go pro video on the net. I’m wondering if this isn’t impacting safety.