VIRGINIA BEACH – Friday’s jet crash is, indeed, a rare event for Hampton Roads.
The most recent aviation fatality at Naval Air Station Oceana involved a civilian stunt pilot at a practice session of the base's annual air show back in 2007. A member of the Geico Skytypers suffered a cardiac event in flight and landed his vintage aircraft in the designated crash zone. He may have been dead before impact. Nobody on the ground was hurt.
Back in 1992, the Lynnhaven River was the accident site, as a Navy MH-53 Sea Stallion helicopter out of Naval Air Station Norfolk conducting routine mine counter measure exercises experienced catastrophic failure in flight. All seven crew members on board perished, no civilians were hurt.
In 1986, a Navy A-6 intruder lost thrust at takeoff and crashed into Oceana Boulevard, killing a pregnant woman in a Volkswagen. The pilot and bombardier navigator ejected, but were killed.
These events are rare, but the military and local civilian first responder organizations prepare for such events in case the real thing does happen.
Last November, they ran a drill in Pungo, training for how they'd respond if an F/18 Hornet went down there.
13News’ records show the last civilian-involved military fatality in the area, prior to the 1986 crash, was back in 1966 when an air force F-104 Starfighter crashed at Buckroe Beach in Hampton, killing three people.