Dark days for the United States army
In less than 48 hours, three aircraft from the U.S. military crashed, leading to the death of five soldiers.
The first accident happened on March, 3, 2018, at 1pm GMT, when a AV-8B Harrier plane from the U.S. Marine Corps crashed soon after takeoff at Ambouli International Airport (JIB), in Djibouti. The pilot was hurt when he ejected but is in stable condition. The plane was destroyed.
The reasons of this incident are still unknown and are currently being investigated. The Harrier was affected to the Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162 and embarked in the Wasp-class amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD-7), currently deployed in Djibouti to support security operations in the region.
The same day in the afternoon, at 9:35pm GMT, another accident affected an aircraft of the U.S. Marine Corps. This time it was a heavy transport helicopter, a Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion, which crashed during a routine training mission near the small city of El Centro, California, near the Mexican border.
The four crew members onboard died. The helicopter was from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing based at the Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (NKX) in San Diego. An investigation was opened.
The last incident of this unfortunate series happened on March 4, 2018, when a pilot from the U.S. Air Force crashed in his F-16C/D Viper at Nellis Air Force base (LSV) in Nevada. The mishap happened during a routine aerial demonstration according to an official statement.
The pilot whose name has not yet been disclosed was part of the Thunderbirds Squadron, a flying team specialized in acrobatic demonstrations as a way to promote and recruit for the Air Force. It is the third lost aircraft for the team in two years.