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US navy jet crashes into Virginia apartment buildings after pilots eject

Adam Gabbatt
London Guardian [1]
April 7, 2012

At least seven people have been injured after a US navy fighter jet crashed into apartment buildings in Virginia Beach, Virginia, on Friday afternoon.

The jet, an F/A-18 Hornet, crashed into buildings at 12.05pm local time after both pilots – who were among the seven injured – ejected from the plane.

Three residents of the Mayfair Mews complex for the elderly were unaccounted for, authorities said. Rescuers said they had completed 95% of their search.

Captain Mark Weisgerber, of US Fleet Forces Command, said the plane had suffered a “catastrophic mechanical malfunction” during a training flight. He said it had dumped a lot of fuel before crashing, although it was not clear if that was because of the malfunction or an intentional manoeuvre by the pilots.

The pilots were a student and an “experienced” instructor, Weisgerber said.

Full article here [1]