Navy Says Engine Malfunction Cause Va. Beach Jet Crash

No disciplinary action warranted for officers who ejected from jet

Monday, Jul 2, 2012  |  Updated 1:37 PM EDT
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Navy: Engine Malfunction Caused Crash

AP

The scene of a jet crash is covered in foam on Friday, April 6, 2012, in Virginia Beach, Va. Two Navy pilots ejected from a fighter jet Friday, sending the unmanned plane careening into a Virginia Beach apartment complex and tearing the roof off at least one building that was engulfed in flames, officials said. Six people, including both pilots, were taken to hospitals, officials said. The Navy said both aviators on board the jet ejected before it crashed around noon and were being taken to hospitals for observation. (AP Photo/U.S. Navy, Petty Officer 3rd Class Antonio P. Turretto Ramos)

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The Navy says a rare dual-engine malfunction caused one of its jets to lose thrust and crash into a Virginia Beach apartment complex.

The F/A-18D Hornet crashed on April 6 about 70 seconds after taking off from Naval Air Station Oceana. No one was killed, but the impact or fire from the crash destroyed 27 apartments and injured seven.

The commander of Naval Air Force Atlantic, Rear Adm. Ted Branch, released details of the jet crash investigation during a news conference at Naval Air Station Oceana on Monday.

Branch says the jet's two-man crew ejected at the last second possible to survive, 50 feet above the ground. 

The investigation says no disciplinary action against the pilots is warranted.

As part of its cleanup efforts at the apartment complex, the Navy demolished 27 units, removed contaminated soil and cleaned the 37 units that were undamaged.

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