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F/A-18E Crash - Near China Lake

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F/A-18E Crash - Near China Lake

Old 31st Jul 2019, 20:23
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F/A-18E Crash - Near China Lake

Status of pilot unknown.

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Old 31st Jul 2019, 21:09
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The plane apparently crashed in the area of R-2508 known as Star Wars Canyon. The planes pass close enough to see Area 51 shoulder patches.






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Old 31st Jul 2019, 21:23
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Update from Tyler Rogoway at thedrive.com:

UPDATE: 1 pm PDT— Multiple reports are coming in to us that the Super Hornet slammed into the canyon wall just below the parking area at the famous 'Star Wars Canyon,' also known as the 'Jedi Transition' and 'Rainbow Canyon.' The site is a Mecca for aviation photographers that capture military aircraft rushing through the steep canyon on low-level training sorties. We
have done dozens of posts on this amazing place and the photos and videos are captured there. We have been told that there were some injuries in the parking lot, supposedly they were burn-related.
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Old 31st Jul 2019, 21:31
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A news item with the squadron affiliation of the downed jet:

There are reports that visitors at the park have suffered minor injuries, a spokesperson for Death Valley National Park said.

Joint Strike Fighter Wing public affairs officer. Lt. Cmdr. Lydia Bock said the aircraft was assigned to the "Vigilantes" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California.

According to KNTV, initial reports indicated the jet went down on the west side of Death Valley National Park, near the Father Crowley Overlook, which has been temporarily closed.

The overlook is an area informally known as "Star Wars Canyon," which has been used for military training flights since the 1930s, said Patrick Taylor, a spokesperson for the park.
The location regularly attracts tourists eager to watch military pilots make their way through the narrow canyon in maneuvers that evoke the "Star Wars" films.


https://abc7.com/navy-f-a-18e-fighter-jet-crashes-in-inyo-county;-pilots-status-unknown/5433048/
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Old 31st Jul 2019, 21:41
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That will stop FJ flights in tha canyon for a while. Looking at the videos on youtube, some pilots don't realize how dangerous going belly up to the canyon walls is, especially when that close. Gives nice pics though but the price is potentially high.

R.I.P.
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Old 31st Jul 2019, 21:56
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Reports of seven victims with second degree burns at the Father Crowley Point viewing area.
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Old 31st Jul 2019, 22:22
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This post on the VFA-151 Facebook page seems to imply a fatal mishap.

Fellow Vigilantes,

There has been a tragedy in our squadron. Please stand by for further information that will be passed using pre approved scripts. The response to any Naval mishap is critical to the emotional well-being of all involved parties. Please allow the next-of-kin notification and investigation processes to be completed as designed. As we deal with this mishap together as a Navy family, it is critical that everyone refrain from sharing information through social media or with friends and family. Well intentioned social media posts during past mishaps have caused unintended, yet irreparable harm to the families involved. Honor your fellow brothers and sisters and their families by honouring the process.


https://www.facebook.com/VFA151/

Last edited by Airbubba; 31st Jul 2019 at 22:46.
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 01:33
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Before and after pictures of the accident aircraft from KGrif Photography.


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Old 1st Aug 2019, 09:19
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Why, after comments on VFA151 Facebook page asking for people to refain from posting information, do we get an unconfirmed before and after photo 🤭
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 09:33
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..because as soon as members of the public get hurt requests like that, in this age, become a bit pointless. As has been shown.
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 09:44
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Originally Posted by Pegasus107 View Post
Why, after comments on VFA151 Facebook page asking for people to refain from posting information, do we get an unconfirmed before and after photo 🤭
I think the comments were aimed at squadron personnel not to speculate and/or comment on the crash on the usual forums.

The photographer just happened to be in the right (wrong?) place at the right time and as happens frequently posted their photos.

The Valley Hawk crash springs to mind a couple of years back.

With photographers visiting LFAs like Mach Loop and ones in the States on a daily basis, expect more of these crashes to appear in the public domain in the future.

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Old 1st Aug 2019, 13:04
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Military FJ flying is a hazardous occupation...doing so at very low level and high speed is very hazardous.

These tragedies do occur now and then and all involved understand and accept the risks.

We still mourn the losses the crashes cause....and very much mourn the loss of those who put their Lives on the Line for the rest of us.

Condolences to the family, friends, and others who lost someone in this tragedy.
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 14:30
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Those tourists were said to be not aware of the low level flight area.
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 15:00
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
Those tourists were said to be not aware of the low level flight area.
I've been to Rainbow half a dozen times to photograph the jets, it's not uncommon for tourists to come up to you and ask what you're doing with a camera with a rather large lens. Father Crowley car park is a fairly obvious place for tourists to stop and take in the view after climbing out of Death Valley. There is a Death Valley National Park information sign at one end of the car park which has a comment about being used for low flying training, but I've seen tourists park up, look at the view, take a few photos and drive off without even looking at the sign.

Alchad
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Old 1st Aug 2019, 18:17
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Originally Posted by Less Hair View Post
Those tourists were said to be not aware of the low level flight area.
Does it matter whether they knew or not?

Condolences to all involved.

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Old 1st Aug 2019, 18:20
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Originally Posted by F-16GUY View Post
That will stop FJ flights in tha canyon for a while. Looking at the videos on youtube, some pilots don't realize how dangerous going belly up to the canyon walls is, especially when that close. Gives nice pics though but the price is potentially high.

R.I.P.

I'm pretty sure they knew exactly how dangerous it was.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 00:27
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US Navy confirms pilot was killed...

theavaiationgeekclub story

-RP
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 08:55
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Does it matter whether they knew or not?
If the argument is that this one 'just one of those things' and all involved knew the risks, then I would say it does matter.

It's arguable that the reason the fallout from Shoreham was so severe is that those killed were nothing to do with the airshow and just going about their business.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 15:19
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Very sad news, although I'm not that surprised. Having watched a few videos over recent years it's apparent some pilots do take crazy risks and showboat for the assembled audience. There's a couple of vids of Vipers going through with afterburners lit, and even a clip of a C5 sort of flying through the canyon. What the tactical advantage is of the latter is beyond me.
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Old 2nd Aug 2019, 17:01
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The Jedi transition to the Sidewinder low level route is NOTAM'ed closed for a few more days.

M0557/19 NOTAMN Q) ZLA/QFAXX/IV/NBO/A/000/999/3454N11753W005 A) KEDW B) 1908011924 C) 1908080001 E) SIDEWINDER POINT A TO POINT C CLOSED. JEDI TRANSITION (C-J) CLOSED. USE CAUTION, HELO OPERATIONS IVO POINT J.
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