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Theodore Roosevelt Super Hornet Crashes in Philippine Sea; Pilot, Weapon Systems Officer Safe

An F/A-18F Super Hornet, assigned to the ‘Black Knights’ of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154, launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) on Dec. 12, 2019. US Navy Photo

An F/A-18F Super Hornet operating off USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71) crashed in the Philippine Sea on Thursday, a Navy official confirmed to USNI News.

The pilot and the weapons officer ejected safely and were recovered by an MH-60S helicopter from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8, according to a statement from the carrier.

“The incident occurred as the F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Carrier Air Wing 11 was conducting routine pilot proficiency training,” reads the statement.
“The incident is currently under investigation. Both aviators were assessed by the medical team on board Theodore Roosevelt and are in good condition.”

The squadron to which the fighter was assigned was not confirmed by the Navy at the time of this posting. According to public Navy information, though, the only squadron on the carrier that flies the two-seat F variant is the the “Black Knights” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154 from Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif.

Theodore Roosevelt returned to sea on June 4 after spending more than two months in Guam battling a COVID-19 outbreak that infected more than 1,200 crew members and resulted in one death. Carrier Air Wing 11 was re-certified to operate from Theodore Roosevelt before the deployment resumed.

The ship is back underway currently operating in the Philippine Sea, according to Navy officials.

The following is the complete June 18, 2020 statement from USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

PHILIPPINE SEA (June 18, 2020) – Two aviators safely ejected and were quickly recovered by a helicopter assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron (HSC) 8 aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71) while conducting routine flight operations in the Philippine Sea.

The incident occurred as the F/A-18F Super Hornet assigned to Carrier Air Wing 11 was conducting routine pilot proficiency training. The incident is currently under investigation. Both aviators were assessed by the medical team on board Theodore Roosevelt and are in good condition.