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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Military Plane Crashes in San Diego

    This story is still unfolding, and I will post details as they are made public.

    Military plane goes down in University City neighborhood

    By Jose Luis Jimenez and Angelica Martinez
    UNION-TRIBUNE BREAKING NEWS TEAM
    12:35 p.m. December 8, 2008

    UNIVERSITY CITY – An apparent military plane has crashed into a residential area, sparking at least one house fire, according to preliminary reports.
    The pilot apparently ejected from the aircraft, but there is no report on his condition.

    Eyewitness Shelby Lovitt, a senior at University High school, said she heard a loud boom just before noon and then saw a plane go down. She said she also saw someone eject from the plane with a parachute. She ran out into field and saw black smoke and flames.

    The school had been put on lockdown and no one is allowed to leave, she said.

    Thick, black smoke could be seen rising from an area north of Governor Drive and west of Interstate 805, according to eyewitnesses. That smoke turned white as the firefighting effort began.

    Massive traffic jams have snarled traffic in the area, making it difficult for firefighters and police to reach the neighborhood, according to witnesses.
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  2. #2
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    3 killed when military jet crashes into University City neighborhood


    By Angelica Martinez and Debbi Baker
    UNION-TRIBUNE BREAKING NEWS TEAM
    and Steve Liewer and Tony Manolatos

    SAN DIEGO – Three people in one home were killed Monday when a Marine Corps fighter-bomber crashed on a residential street in University City and careened into four houses, sparking an intense fireball that spewed thick black smoke.

    The victims were a mother, one of her children and the child's grandmother, said Maurice Luque, a spokesman for the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department. A search for a possible fourth victim in the same home, a child, was suspended at 6 p.m. Monday and will resume Tuesday morning, he said.

    Luque said the plane landed on Cather Avenue and plowed into a house at 4416 Cather, which is where the victims were found. The plane then careened into the house next door on Cather, then struck two homes on Huggins Street, behind Cather. No one in those houses was injured, he said. Four vehicles on Huggins Street were destroyed.

    The pilot of the troubled jet had been headed for Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, about two miles from the crash site. He ejected safely in a canyon moments before the plane went down shortly before noon.

    The pilot told several witnesses that the jet lost its first engine over the Pacific Ocean, and a decision was made to try to return to Miramar MCAS on one engine. The second engine failed when the plane was on final approach, he said.

    The pilot was taken to San Diego Naval Medical Center, where he was listed in good condition Monday night, said Sonja Hanson, a hospital spokeswoman.

    The aircraft, a two-seat F/A-18D Hornet, was from Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 101, part of the Miramar-based 3rd Marine Air Wing, said Capt. Stephen Paap, a Marine Corps spokesman.

    The pilot was en route alone from the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln, operating in the Pacific Ocean off San Diego, Paap said.

    Dennis Connor was on a hill in University City when he saw the plane flying slow and low at a 45-degree angle. The jet came in over some rooftops and clipped the top of a tree before slamming into the pavement on Cather, he said, leaving short skid marks.

    Connor said the plane was just seconds from the ground when the pilot ejected, landing in a canyon a few blocks from University City High School.

    “He was trying to get (the plane) to the canyon,” Connor said. “He held on as long as could. At the last second, the pilot parachuted out.”

    Steve Diamond, a retired naval aviator, witnessed the crash and went to the aid of the pilot, whom he described as a Marine Corps lieutenant in his 20s. Diamond said the pilot told him about the jet's engine problems.

    Connor said the plane was smashed to pieces, with a turbine from an engine the only part that Connor said he could distinguish. A box of electronics was atop some shrubbery.

    “Everything was just mangled aluminum,” he said.


    Scott Bloom, a Washington Mutual employee, was on his way to visit clients on Huggins Street when he saw the pilot eject and then heard a loud explosion.
    “(Huggins) Street was completely filled with flames and black smoke,” Bloom said. “There were cars on fire and subsequent explosions.”

    The ejection seat landed a few doors from Paulette Glauser's house. She ran into her yard, and said people were “running down the street, panicking.”

    About 100 firefighters and police officers converged on the neighborhood. Authorities concerned about possible toxic fumes evacuated about 20 homes, but county hazardous materials officials later said that air quality in the neighborhood was normal.

    Students at University City High School heard the explosion, and several said they saw the pilot eject.

    The school, which has 1,851 students, was put on lockdown until 2:15 p.m, when students were allowed to leave as scheduled, said Jack Brandais, a spokesman for the San Diego Unified School District.

    Brandais said three elementary schools, a middle school and a charter school in the University City area were not affected.

    Nicole Harris was teaching a physical education class outside at nearby Doyle Elementary School when she saw the pilot eject. Even before he bailed, she sensed that something was wrong.

    “The plane was really low and it was quiet,” Harris said. “Usually, they're (military planes en route to Miramar) so loud, I have to stop teaching.”

    Nora Bhes, who lives a block from the crash site on Cather, said the impact “sounded like a huge thunderstorm.”

    Pia Mantovani-Sud was inside her house at 4411 Cather when she heard the plane crash across the street.

    “I heard a boom boom boom ... I came out and saw my neighbor's house on fire,” she said.

    Mayor Jerry Sanders, Police Chief William Lansdowne and Fire Chief Tracy Jarman viewed the wreckage before addressing the media Monday afternoon.

    “My heart goes out to the families of the victims,” said Sanders, who described the scene as “horrific.”

    Col. Chris O'Connor, commanding officer of MCAS Miramar, said at the news conference that the cause of the accident was being investigated.

    A Navy official said the Abraham Lincoln has been conducting carrier qualifications off the coast of Southern California since Friday. During these drills, pilots must demonstrate their skills at both day and night carrier landings.

    The F/A-18 debuted more than 20 years ago and is the workhorse of the Navy and Marine Corps fleet. The twin-engine aircraft is capable of flying at supersonic speeds.

    The age of the aircraft that crashed isn't known, said Maj. Jay Delarosa, a Marine Corps spokesman, but the Navy and Marine Corps have been flying Hornets since the late 1980s.
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  3. #3
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    Very sad. I bet the pilot feels terrible that he or she couldn't steer the plane out of harm's way before ejecting...
    Calm Like A Bomb...

    A pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. An optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty.
    -Winston Churchill

  5. #5
    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    If you look at the track, he was doing his best to get over the 805 to the Miramar side and try for a landing west to east.

    As a kid, I remember an F-14 on approach to Miramar coming in too low on a flameout and crashing into cars on the old I-15. Not long after, I-15 was rebuilt further east.

    Hope the community stays behind the Marines and not crucify the 18 driver or the Corps due to this.

  6. #6
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    They located the body of the missing child today.
    Molly Weasley makes Chuck Norris eat his vegetables.

    Do not puff, shade, skew, tailor, firm up, stretch, massage,
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    FBI Special Agent Coleen Rowley

  7. #7
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    So Sad, That has to suck, poor child. Glad to read that the father has no ill feelings and a positive attitude, though grieving for his family, obviously.

    http://www.sandiego6.com/news/local/...75720&rss=tick

    Quote Originally Posted by Morris View Post
    Hope the community stays behind the Marines and not crucify the 18 driver or the Corps due to this.
    They appear to be, for the most part.


    Choose The Right. When you're doing whats right, then you have nothing to worry about.

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  8. #8
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    "why didn't he just find somewhere to nose-dive the plane into an un-populated area prior to coming into a residential area?"

    no, I'm not serious - just hoping that they don't crucify the pilot, or Corps by asking idiotic questions like that one in a few days... b/c we all know the public perception can get quite twisted and varies hourly
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Twan007 View Post
    "why didn't he just find somewhere to nose-dive the plane into an un-populated area prior to coming into a residential area?"

    no, I'm not serious - just hoping that they don't crucify the pilot, or Corps by asking idiotic questions like that one in a few days... b/c we all know the public perception can get quite twisted and varies hourly
    F-18s and for that matter, no Jet Fighter/Bomber is a glider. When the motor stops, it GOES DOWN. There is a little bit of glide they can to, but not much and it is usually STRAIGHT DOWN.

  10. #10
    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    Solid points. As someone who worked on F-15s for awhile plus other military birds, all current fighter jets are computer assisted. This means that without a computer to assist the pilot, the birds are not sustainable for flight or even moderate glide. Again, I suspect the pilot was doing his best to get to the other side of the 805 where the base and barren land is at.

    I imagine the pilot is terrificly shook up over the loss of this family and his aircraft. I also suspect that either there was one of the famous (or not so) computer dumps on the 18 series or ingestion of birds.

  11. #11
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    My little brother is a naval aviator - he explains that if you have to punch out, you are lucky to escape serious injury.

    I feel for the pilot, and I would bet a years salary he tried to do what he could to keep that plane from hurting anyone.
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  12. #12
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    By Associated Press

    SAN DIEGO (AP) - Overwhelmed with anguish, Dong Yun Yoon walked unsteadily to a pile of rubble where his home once stood and pleaded for advice on how to cope after losing his family.

    His wife, two children and mother-in-law were killed when a fighter jet lost power and crashed through their home and burst into flames. A day after the tragedy, Yoon held a news conference to ask guidance from people who have suffered "more terrible things."

    "Please tell me how to do it," he said Tuesday, surrounded by his pastor, sister and brother. "I don't know what to do."

    Yoon, sobbing into a tissue at the foot of his destroyed house, also asked for prayer for the jet's Marine pilot, who ejected safely from the F/A-18D Hornet after his training mission went awry Monday.

    "I don't have any hard feelings," Yoon, 37, told reporters. "I know he did everything he could."


    The military has given no official word on the cause of the crash, which incinerated two homes and damaged three others.

    U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter, the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, called on the Marine Corps on Tuesday to release the maintenance records of all its F/A-18D Hornet fighters.

    He said the fiery crash was apparently caused by power failure. "My understanding ... is that the engines failed, causing the aircraft to lose thrust," Hunter spokesman Joe Kasper said.

    The crash was probably unrelated to the previous discovery of cracks in hinges on the wings of more than a dozen of the $57 million aircraft, the San Diego-area congressman said.

    "It is important that we gain a complete understanding of what went wrong," Hunter said.

    The jet was returning from an offshore training mission when it clipped a tree and slammed into the neighborhood about two miles from Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

    Marine Cpl. Travis Easter said Miramar officials had no immediate response to the request for maintenance records.

    The Rev. Kevin Lee, associate pastor of the Korean United Methodist Church that Yoon attended, identified the victims as Young Mi Yoon, 36; her daughters Grace, 15 months, and Rachel, 2 months; and her mother, Suk Im Kim, 60. Lee said Kim was visiting from South Korea to help her daughter move across town and adjust to the arrival of her second child.

    Dong Yun Yoon emigrated from South Korea in 1989, learning English and becoming a U.S. citizen, church leaders said. He helped run his brother-in-law's stores - a coffee shop in a San Diego beach neighborhood and a variety store near the Mexican border, according to Michael Rose, a neighbor.

    The family had recently moved into the area after outgrowing their condominium.

    Neighbors and church leaders said Young Mi Yoon was a religious woman who sought to balance family and career. She was preparing to become a registered nurse, her job in South Korea.

    Rose, 44, saw Dong Yun Yoon say goodbye to his wife and baby in their driveway as he left for work Monday, about three hours before the fighter jet clipped a jacaranda tree, bounced off the pavement and crashed into the Yoons' home.

    "I saw their last kiss," said Rose, a retired photographer. "I thought, `What a beautiful sight,' and then later in the day they were just gone."
    I'm your huckleberry...

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  13. #13
    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    Ejection from a bird is an absolute last decision any stick grip actuator will make. Pilots will try to go to a lesser or non-inhabitated area if they can. You are limited on how you can eject. If yoru bird is nose down attitude to anything less than something like 110-125 degrees, your ejection may not give you enough room to have the chute open. If your chute doesn't open, it makes for a hard and sometimes deadly landing. Hard to do a PLF at 80 mph.

    Ejections are brutal. Canopy is supposed to pop, you clear, then pull and rocket up and out. You go from protection to wind speeds at 110-200 mph while typically traversing at rocket speeds upwards. Pilots typically sustain some injury every time they eject.

    Once the pilot is out and there is no computer control, attitude control goes to shit and you now have a multi-million dollar lawn dart.

    I will add that there is a quiet buzz in certain circles that there have been some odd software glitches with the 18 series of aircraft. I still stay plugged in when I can. True, all heresay but I have learned that anything software driven has and does get bugs and glitches. Will be interesting to see what the fault was. Also hard to work past a double flameout when you ingest birds in both engines.

  14. #14
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    I don't see any real anti-airbase muttering going on, especially since the military has been warning about encroaching development in the area for decades.

    Unfortunately, a fighter jet flew over the scene in the middle of Dong Yun Yoon's public statement, not the most sensitive of PR moves.

    There is a never-ending battle here in San Diego, it's between developers who want to build high-rises in flight paths, and on the outskirts of airports, and those who continue to warn about the dangers. The developers always seem to win, but fortunately the local news remembers the battles and reminds people when the inevitable tragedy occurs.
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  15. #15
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    Having had a close working relationship with Naval and Marine aviators during my stint in the Navy , I can imagine how the pilot of that aircraft feels. Most of the aviators I had the pleasure of serving with were extremely dedicated , mature officers. Their main goal in life was to prepare to defend this country against it's enemies and protect it's citizens from harm, not being involved in an incident in which four innocent people including two children are killed. He will be haunted by this tragedy ,as will the surviving father of the family, for the rest of his life.I just hope that the incident claims no more victims later on down the road.
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    Captain America's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Morris View Post

    Ejections are brutal. Canopy is supposed to pop, you clear, then pull and rocket up and out. You go from protection to wind speeds at 110-200 mph while typically traversing at rocket speeds upwards. Pilots typically sustain some injury every time they eject.
    All true. The ejection seat in most aircraft travel approx. 500 ft in two seconds. It's not uncommon that although the pilot survives, he medically cannot fly again. Sometimes the pilots loose up to an inch in height from spine compression. The force usually ruptures the blood vessels in the eves turning the whites of the eyes red. This is caused by the extreme G force. If you were to eject close to the ground in an inverted position , all that would be needed is the placement of the headstone. Morris , you an ex-aviator?
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army

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    Chuckle, I'll let him answer.
    I'm your huckleberry...

    Quemadmoeum gladis nemeinum occidit, occidentus telum est!

    You can be the weapon, and the gun in your hand is a tool - or the gun is a weapon and you are the tool.


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  18. #18
    Captain America's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maclean View Post
    Chuckle, I'll let him answer.
    I guess I have my answer , chuckle.
    SI VIS PACEM PARA BELLUM

    "It's a great life. You risk your skin catching killers and the juries turn them loose so they can come back and shoot at you again. If your honest , your poor your whole life. And , In the end , you wind up dying all alone on some dirty street. For what? For nothing. For a tin star."
    -Ex-Sheriff Martin Howe to Will Kane in "High Noon"

    Far from being a handicap to command, compassion is the measure of it. For unless one values the lives of his soldiers and is tormented by their ordeals , he is unfit to command.
    -General Omar Bradley, United States Army

    Renniger-Richards-Griswold-Owens

  19. #19
    Morris is offline Chief Wheaties Pisser
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    Naaa. Spent my time as guys who cleaned cockpits, did the CND duties, fixed or loaded airmunitions, called in airstrikes, carried drunken ALOs to the hotel, told stick grip actuators where to go, etc. Holloman, Eglin, Hurlburt, McChord, other places.

    PDawg is correct. A friend of mine who flew MD80s for Alaska stated that the worst airport he hated flying into was Lindbergh Field in part to the buildings at the approach. I remember when the parking structure was allowed to be built at the end of the runway. I also remember when they used to park cars up there until someone came back to it to find the neat imprint of a front landing wheel across the top of the car. The lights at the corners went shortly up after that.

    El Toro was shut down in part to the growth of home surrounding what was an airfield smack in the middle of Orange Groves. El Toro became Miramar. At least the Navy was smart enough to buy a huge chunk of land surrounding the runways and at either end. I remember when March ARB was an AFB and was in the middle of nowhere. Not anymore. Same with McChord up here. Look at how many homes are being built to the east of Miramar. The canyons to the west are filling in.

    Insane.

 

 

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