US Navy Jet Crashes in Virginia

Pilots reportedly dump fuel, eject before impact

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Apr 6, 2012 12:26 PM CDT | Updated Apr 6, 2012 2:38 PM CDT

(Newser) – Two Navy pilots ejected from a fighter jet today, sending the unmanned plane careening into a Virginia Beach apartment complex and tearing the roof off at least one building that was engulfed in flames, officials said. Six people, including both pilots, were taken to hospitals, officials said. The Navy said both aviators on board the jet ejected before it crashed around noon and were being taken to hospitals for observation.

Bruce Nedelka, the Virginia Beach EMS division chief, said that witnesses saw fuel being dumped from the jet before it went down, and that fuel was found on buildings and vehicles in the area. "By doing so, he mitigated what could have been an absolute massive, massive fireball and fire," Nedelka said. The crash happened in the Hampton Roads area, which has a large concentration of military bases, including Naval Station Norfolk, the largest naval base in the world. The Daily Beast has more pictures from the crash site.

In this image made from video and provided by WVEC TV, smoke billows near an apartment complex where a Navy jet crashed in Virginia Beach, Va., Friday, March 6, 2012.
In this image made from video and provided by WVEC TV, smoke billows near an apartment complex where a Navy jet crashed in Virginia Beach, Va., Friday, March 6, 2012.   (AP Photo/ WVEC-TV)
In this image made from video and provided by WVEC TV, smoke billows near an apartment complex where a Navy jet crashed in Virginia Beach, Va., Friday, March 6, 2012.
In this image made from video and provided by WVEC TV, smoke billows near an apartment complex where a Navy jet crashed in Virginia Beach, Va., Friday, March 6, 2012.   (AP Photo/ WVEC-TV)
Robby Cortes (@RobbyCortes) tweeted this photo of the Virginia Beach Navy jet crash.
Robby Cortes (@RobbyCortes) tweeted this photo of the Virginia Beach Navy jet crash.   (http://twitter.com/#!/RobbyCortes/status/188311812909969408)
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Video caption claims: "This was taken before emergency services arrived at scene of F-18 jet crash at Virginia Beach on April 6th, 2012."   (YouTube)

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