Friday, December 19, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Residents relieved no one injured by military jet

Military Jet Crash

Smoke and flames rise after a Marine jet crashed into a residential area in the desert community of Imperial, Calif., setting two homes on fire Wednesday, June 4, 2014. The pilot ejected safely, and there was no immediate word of any injuries on the ground. The Harrier AV-8B went down at 4:20 p.m. in Imperial, a city of about 15,000 near the U.S.-Mexico border about 90 miles east of San Diego. (AP Photo/Imperial Valley Press, Chelcey Adami)

By
From page A5 | June 06, 2014 |

SAN DIEGO — Military crews on Thursday mopped up the debris of an exploded fighter jet that struck a Southern California neighborhood, as authorities launched an investigation into the latest crash of the Cold War aircraft with a history of problems.

The Harrier AV-8B had taken off from the Marine Corps Air Station in Yuma and was almost at his destination at Naval Air Facility El Centro when it went down Wednesday afternoon, going up in flames and destroying two homes and badly damaging a third. The pilot who was ejected landed in a nearby field and suffered only scrapes and bruises.

There were no injuries in the neighborhood, which is near a county airport and the El Centro training facility.

“We have air traffic every day from big military helicopters to Osprey to Blue Angels flying over us,” said resident Leonardo Olmeda, 25, who was racing remote-controlled cars in a street where children were playing when they saw the pilot eject and the jet ignite. “Everybody seems relieved and thankful that the outcome of this was not worse.”

Two of the displaced families in the newer neighborhood of Imperial – a small desert city of about 15,000 people about 90 miles east of San Diego – went to stay with friends or relatives, while the Red Cross put up one couple in a hotel Wednesday night. Officials were assessing whether any of the families would need longer-term help, such as rental assistance or other items, said Red Cross spokeswoman Courtney Pendleton.

Marine Capt. Anton Semelroth said the military was investigating to determine whether human error, a mechanical failure or some other reason caused the jet to crash. The probe could take months to complete.

It was the second crash in a month of a Harrier jet from the Yuma air base. On May 9, a pilot was able to eject safely before his jet crashed in a remote desert area near the Gila River Indian Community, south of Phoenix. No one was injured.

In July 2012, another AV-8B Harrier crashed in an unpopulated area 15 miles from the air base, which is among the busiest training aviation centers in the world for the Marine Corps.

The Harrier, built by McDonnell Douglas, is a single-engine attack jet that can land and takeoff vertically – hence its nickname, Jump Jet. Military officials say the aircraft is being replaced by the F-35 because it has been in use for more than 40 years and has reached the end of its life cycle.

It also has had a problematic safety record over the years.

In 1999, the planes were grounded after a series of crashes, and in 2003 the Los Angeles Times won a Pulitzer Prize for a series of reports that found the Harrier was the most accident-prone aircraft in the military at that time.

Over the last five years, the Marine Corps has lost seven Harrier aircraft in crashes and six Hornets, officials said.

“Every time we take off, safety is our biggest concern,” Semelroth said. “I’m sure after the previous mishaps we’ve got a better process now and will take this investigation and do the same thing. We constantly try to improve the process and make it safer.”

In 2011, a federal judge ordered the U.S. government to pay $17.8 million to a family that lost four members when a Marine Corps F-18 fighter jet crashed into their San Diego home in 2008.

The Marine Corps has said the plane suffered a mechanical failure and a series of bad decisions led the pilot – a student – to bypass a potentially safe landing at a coastal Navy base.

A few hours after the jet crashed in Imperial on Wednesday, a Navy Hornet went into the sea off San Diego as it prepared to make a late-night landing on an aircraft carrier. The pilot was listed in stable condition after ejecting.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

  • Recent Articles

  • Enter your email address to subscribe and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • .

    Solano News

     
    Groundbreakings, ribbon-cuttings play role in civic life

    By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Safe streets task force work nets 3

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A3

     
    Santas have busy week at schools

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A3

    Solano College approves officers, meeting schedule

    By Susan Winlow | From Page: A4

     
    Longtime Suisun harbor master to retire

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

    Mosquito abatement district board has opening

    By Ian Thompson | From Page: A4

     
     
     
    Police arrest 2nd suspect in Fairfield credit union robbery

    By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    Fairfield police log: Dec. 17, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

     
    Suisun City police log: Dec. 17, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A12

    .

    US / World

    Next steps on Cuba: Normalizing could take awhile

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Sony hacking fallout puts all companies on alert

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Sony film took aim at North Korea’s biggest taboo

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Timeline of the Sony Pictures Entertainment hack

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Digital dilemma: How will US respond to Sony hack?

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Rubio, other Congressional Cubans step up Obama criticism

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    Spy’s parents search for son after Cuba-US deal

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

     
    Hope and some fear in Cuba amid thaw with US

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

    California’s top utility regulator defends record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    ‘Pretty horrible’ scene; car slams into crowd

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    San Francisco Bay Bridge fasteners not in danger of failing

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Police: Drunk man shot while entering wrong house

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    CHP, Oakland in tiff over plainclothes officers at protests

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

     
    Local emergencies in Northern California counties after rain

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A5

    Tsarnaev appears in court for 1st time since 2013

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A6

     
    President signs legislation ending Nazi benefit checks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    2 states challenge Colorado marijuana legalization

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    ‘Prison Houdini’ set to make his 1st legal escape

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Top Islamic militants killed; more US troops going to Iraq

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Feds sue NYC over Rikers Island jail violence

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

    Russian sailors leaving France without warship

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

     
    Putin: West wants to defang, declaw Russian bear

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A10

    Suspected Islamic extremists kidnap 185 in Nigeria

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

     
    European court rules obesity can be a disability

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A13

    .

    Living

    Community Calendar: Dec. 19, 2014

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

     
    .

    Entertainment

    Sweet ‘Night at the Museum’ bids farewell to Robin Williams

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

     
    Review: ‘The Hobbit’ wraps with a Middle Earth melee

    By Jake Coyle | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Eric Idle brings ‘Not the Messiah’ to Carnegie Hall

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

     
    .

    Sports

    Warriors beat Thunder 114-109 after Durant injury

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    A’s acquire lefty De La Rosa from Arizona for cash

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    Raiders defense depleted by injuries

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    49ers’ Harbaugh mum on reported offer from Michigan

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

    49ers’ Aldon Smith hopes to build off tough year

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    A’s trade All-Star catcher Derek Norris to Padres

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B7

     
    Celtics trade Rondo to Mavericks

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Rodriguez boys open Les Curry Tournament with victory

    By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B8

     
    39 bowl games and a reason to watch every one

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Column: Thaw in US-Cuba relations warms up MLB

    By Jim Litke | From Page: B8

     
    Rivera: Newton ‘probably’ will start vs. Browns

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Bears bench QB Jay Cutler for Clausen

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

     
    ‘Hands Up’ players to attend Ferguson Christmas party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8

    Signups for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B9

     
    Sports on TV/Local sports for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By Paul Farmer | From Page: B11

    This date in sports history for Friday, Dec. 19, 2014

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B11

     
    .

    Business

    Roomiest Subaru Legacy debuts for 2015

    By Ann M. Job | From Page: C1

     
    Dow industrials have their best day in three years

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Ford expands drivers air bag recall nationwide

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

     
    Constantly changing online prices stump shoppers

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    .

    Obituaries

    Travis Curt Price

    By Susan Hiland | From Page: A4

     
    Ernest “Ernie” Moretti

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    Jennie Ponce Reyes

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

     
    Patricia “Pat” Anne Stringfield-Pierre

    By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

    .

    Comics