Tag: F/A-18 Hornet

Marines to order 24-hour stand-downs for flying units in wake of fatal crashes

Marines prepare to board MV-22 Ospreys on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Makin Island off the coast of Camp Pendleton, Calif., on Feb. 23, 2015. The Marine Corps announced Friday, Aug. 11, 2017, that all its aviation units must cease flying for a 24-hour period within the next two weeks to review safety procedures, following two recent crashes that killed 19 servicemembers.

WASHINGTON —  Marine Corps aviation units must cease flying for a 24-hour period within the next two weeks to review safety procedures following two recent Marine crashes that killed 19 troops, the service’s top general ordered Friday.

Gen. Robert Neller, the Marine commandant, has ordered aviators to review “the fundamentals of safe flight operations, standardization, and combat readiness” during the “operational reset,” said Capt. Ryan Alvis, a spokeswoman for the Corps.

“The intent is for flying squadrons to review selected incidents which occurred enterprise-wide and study historical examples of completed investigations in order to bring awareness and best practices to the fleet,” she said.

Unit commanders will determine when to conduct the stand-downs. Neller’s order instructed commanders to conduct the pause when it will not interrupt training or combat operations.

Fifteen Marines and a sailor were killed in the July 10 crash of a KC-130T tanker-transport aircraft into the Mississippi Delta. Three additional Marines died Saturday in the crash of an MV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft just off the coast of Australia.

The Marines on Wednesday announced they had determined the Ospreys were safe to fly following inspections and a preliminary investigation into Saturday’s crash. In that incident, the Osprey crashed into the deck of the USS Green Bay as it was landing on the amphibious transport dock before crashing into the ocean about 18 miles off the coast of Queensland.

The three Marines killed are believed to have been trapped inside the aircraft as it sank, officials said. Twenty-three others aboard the aircraft were rescued.

In the July crash, the KC-130T appears to have broken up in mid-air before it crashed to the ground leaving two debris trails each stretching more than a mile long, an initial investigation found. All of the personnel aboard the plane were killed.

The Marines grounded its entire fleet of 12 KC-130T aircraft following the incident.
Safety stand-downs of individual airframes or for particular units are not uncommon.

Last August, the Marines ordered a similar stand-down for all F/A-18 Hornets aircraft following several crashes of the fighter jets. The Marines also temporarily grounded AV-8B Harrier and Osprey aircraft in Japan last year following non-fatal wrecks.




Russian missile carriers fly over Baltic Sea with NATO fighter aircraft


TASS Russian News Agency, 15 June 2017

MOSCOW, June 15. /TASS/. Tu-160 strategic missile carries have conducted scheduled flights over the Baltic Sea’s neutral waters with NATO fighter planes, the Russian Defense Ministry reported.

“On June 15, the Aerospace Forces’ Tu-160 strategic missile carriers conducted scheduled flights over the Baltic Sea’s neutral waters. As some stages of the flight route, the Russian strategic missile carriers were followed by Denmark’s F-16, Finland’s F-18 and Sweden’s JAS-39 aircraft,” the report says.

The Russian Defense Ministry noted that the Tu-160 planes were accompanied by Su-27 fighters of the Western Military District and an A-50 long-range radar detection aircraft.

“Long-range pilots carry out regular flights over the neutral waters of the Atlantic, Arctic and Pacific Oceans and the Black Sea from both base and operational airfields, under the approved plan. All flights are carried out in strict conformity to the international rules of airspace use over neutral waters without violating other countries’ borders,” the Defense Ministry highlighted.

Earlier the Finnish air forces reported the flight of Russian missile carriers over the Baltic Sea. Finnish military added that F/A-18 fighter planes were scrambled “to identify and make photos of the Russian warplanes.”