An accident this morning that involved a Squadron 132 F/A-18G Growler has injured two crew members and caused the announcement of a fleet wide
suspension of flight ops that involve all F-18 variants. The two injured crew members were airlifted to Harbor View medical center in Seattle. If they
went to Harbor View, the extent of the injuries are most likely on the rather bad side. Harbor View is the regions only level one trauma center. The
aircraft involved was also reported to be damaged in the accident.
Boeing is being brought in to consult on the incident.
Interesting comments today. Boeing and NAVAIR have identified several potential contributing factors. Once squadrons brief them and changes in
procedure to aircraft washing and NATOPS they can begin flying again.
Wow, really did not see this one coming. The crew was troubleshooting a pressurization issue at the time of the incident. The pressure relief valve
for the cockpit failed, and there was a serious over pressure problem going on. It eventually got so bad, that the canopy failed, causing the crew
Amazing how something so small and so simple can cause a multi-million dollar machine to fail. Then I think of your last post on Allegient(My parents
favorite go to) and cars look better and better. Those 2 are lucky to have escaped with their lives.
The canopy failing is interesting to me. Was the pressure too low or too high? A canopy failing inward seems the least likely but I am left wanting
for more details on it.
A few more details have emerged. The crew was apparently troubleshooting an environmental issue prior to takeoff. They were to fly with two other
Growlers that day. There was a rapid pressure increase, followed by the canopy letting go. There were to PJs from the 304th Rescue Squadron in
Portland on base at the time that treated the crew before the ambulance arrived. One crew member suffered a significant head injury, while the other
suffered lung damage and was described as suffocating. They repeatedly decompressed his chest until they got to the hospital.
One crew member has been released, the other is looking at another couple of weeks in the hospital before he may be released. The aftermath was
described as "horrific".
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