US Navy F/A-18 Hornet crashes in Philippine sea
After experiencing a mechanical problem, an F/A-18 Hornet fighter of the U.S. Navy crashed during a routine exercise in the Philippine Sea on November 12, 2018. Both pilots were rescued.
The plane was part of the Carrier Air Wing 5, which is operating from the aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan. The two pilots managed to eject safely and were recovered by the search and rescue aircraft on board the aircraft carrier. They received a medical evaluation and were reportedly in good condition.
While the U.S Navy refers to the aircraft as a F/A-18 in its official press release, it seems more likely that the fighter was in fact a F/A-18F Super Hornet, as it is the plane currently being used by the four fighter squadrons of the Carrier Air Wing 5.
It is the second time that an aircraft affected to the USS Reagan crashed in less than a month. On October 19, 2018, a U.S. Navy MH-60 Seahawk had to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff on the carrier’s flight deck. Twelve sailors were injured in the crash, as reported by Stars and Stripes. The cause of the mishap is still under investigation.
The USS Ronald Reagan is part of the United States 7th Fleet based in the Pacific Ocean. The carrier recently took part in the Keen Sword exercise, between October 29 and November 8, 2018, along with the Japanese Self Defense Force (JSDF). The goal of the exercise was to reinforce interoperability between the two forces. They were also joined by the Royal Canadian Navy supply ship MV Asterix.