Super Hornet from USS Carl Vinson Crashes Near the Philippines, Pilot Safe

April 21, 2017 11:38 AM - Updated: April 21, 2017 3:27 PM
An F/A-18E Super Hornet from the “Kestrels” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 137 takes off from the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on April 10, 2017. US Navy Photo

This post has been updated with additional information from U.S. Pacific Fleet.

An F/A-18E Super Hornet on approach to land on aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) crashed on Friday near the Philippines, Navy officials told USNI News.

The pilot of the aircraft assigned to Carrier Air Wing 2, ditched the aircraft in the sea, safely ejected and was recovered by a helicopter flown from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4 “Black Knights,” according to a brief release from U.S. 7th Fleet.

“The incident is currently under investigation,” read the statement.
“The pilot is being assessed by the medical team on board USS Carl Vinson and there are no apparent injuries at this time.”

The crash occurred at 6:55 P.M. local time (6:55 A.M. EDT).

The Vinson Strike Group is currently in the Celebes Sea and is in transit north for previously announced presence operations off the Korean Peninsula.

Earlier this week, strike group commander Rear Adm. Jim Kilby announced that strike group would extend their deployment by a month.

The strike group recently completed a bilateral training operation off of the coast Western Australia with the Royal Australian Navy.

The Vinson Strike Group deployment is being overseen by U.S. Third Fleet based in San Diego, Calif. as a test of the Navy’s ability to command and control forces in the Western Pacific, reported USNI News earlier this year.

The following is the complete April 21, 2017 statement from U.S. 7th Fleet.

USS Carl Vinson — A pilot safely ejected and was quickly recovered by a helicopter assigned to HSC-4 aboard USS Carl Vinson while conducting routine flight operations during a transit in the Celebes Sea.

The incident occurred as the F/A-18E assigned to Carrier Air Wing 2 was on final approach to USS Carl Vinson. The incident is currently under investigation. The pilot is being assessed by the medical team on board USS Carl Vinson and there are no apparent injuries at this time.

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone

Sam LaGrone is the editor of USNI News. He has covered legislation, acquisition and operations for the Sea Services since 2009 and spent time underway with the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps and the Canadian Navy.
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