Aircraft Departed Aircraft Carrier, Heading For Miramar
ANN REALTIME UPDATE 12.08.08 2300 EST: Local
authorities say three people on the ground were killed when an
F/A-18D Hornet impacted a neighborhood two miles northwest of MCAS
Miramar late Monday morning.
News 10 San Diego reports the bodies of two adults and one
infant were found inside one of University City-area two homes
destroyed by the resulting post-impact fire. Another child remained
unaccounted for as of late Monday.
Officials say the pilot was the only person onboard the two-seat
F/A-18. The unidentified student pilot was able to eject from the
plane seconds before impact, and landed on a bluff near a local
"He was a little shaken up," said witness Jason Widmer, who came
to the pilot's aid. "The first thing he said to me, even before he
said, 'I'm OK,' he said, 'I hope I didn't kill anybody."'
Widmer added the pilot told him the aircraft lost an engine
while on approach to land at Miramar, with the second apparently
flaming out over the neighboorhood.
A US Marines F/A-18 Hornet fighter jet has crashed in a
residential neighborhood roughly two miles from Marine Corps Air
Station Miramar near San Diego, CA.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told The Associated Press the jet's
pilot was able to eject before the aircraft impacted near
Interstate 805 just before noon local time. The crash sparked at
least one house fire, and images show two nearby cars burning as
The Los Angeles Times reports two people on the ground were
killed, with "a grandmother and two small children" who lived in
the burning home still missing. The pilot's condition is unknown,
though witnesses saw the pilot walking around "in a daze"
after the accident.
Witness John Kreischer told the Times he saw and heard the jet
laboring as it approached to land at MCAS Miramar.
"It was must mushing through the air," Kreischer said. "It was
chugging along with what seemed like one engine. Then I heard a
roar of engine and all of a sudden, woop, dead silence.
"This guy could have turned it around and put it in the ocean,"
he continued. "He was never going to make it to Miramar."
Officials at the base told the paper the F/A-18 had taken off
from the USS Abraham Lincoln off the coast. The plane's pilot
belongs to the Vertical Marine Fighter/Attack Training Squadron 101
from Marine Aircraft Group 11.
"When I first heard the noise, I thought it was a gunshot," said
nearby resident Ed Costa. "I could see black smoke going up. Then
we heard a secondary blast. Flames were shooting as high as the
Costa's son Dean added he saw two homes on fire, and heard
several cars 'explode.'
"It was just crazy," he said. "There was debris everywhere."
The accident prompted a lockdown at a nearby high school.
Personnel from Miramar are on their way to the scene of the