Video: Supersonic F/A-18C Hornet bursts into flame on aircraft carrier flight deck

Video: Supersonic F/A-18C Hornet bursts into flame on aircraft carrier flight deck

Summary: Here's a shoutout to everyone on the crew, and especially the intrepid pilot who came home safely and brought his injured bird in for an incredible landing.

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TOPICS: Travel Tech
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Fire is one of the most serious hazards aboard any ship at sea, and is a particularly serious problem among warfighting vessels.

On Monday, an F/A-18C Hornet burst into flames as one of its engines gave out. Even with one engine and the entire back of the plane on fire, the pilot (a member of the Stingers, VFA-113) managed to bring the craft in for a landing on the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson (CVN-70).

The Hornet design is old, dating all the way back to the 1970s. It's a very versatile craft, able to fight air-to-air and air-to-ground. While this one had a severe engine fire, the F/A-18C has been a very reliable airframe for more than 30 years.

The video above shows the extraordinary efforts used to manage flight deck fires. The image quality isn't the best, but you can still see exactly what happens and it's very impressive.

One note of disclosure: I took a couple of cruises on the Vinson in a "civilian capacity" back in the day (which is all I can really say). Back then, as now, it had an exceptional crew.

Here's a shoutout to everyone on the crew, and especially the intrepid pilot who came home safely and brought his injured bird in for an incredible landing.

Topic: Travel Tech

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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5 comments
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  • RE: Video: Supersonic F/A-18C Hornet bursts into flame on aircraft carrier flight deck

    Great job by the ground crew. They never get enough credit yet they are the ones who make everything happen.
    Loverock Davidson
    • I went thru the Navy's shipboard fire training course

      @Loverock Davidson
      and looking at this video shows just how deadly serious it is.
      They save more then just the pilot, they saved the ship!
      Nice work!
      John Zern
  • RE: Video: Supersonic F/A-18C Hornet bursts into flame on aircraft carrier flight deck

    Actually, I found in watching that, that the fire-crew were apparently ill prepared and it took forever for to get a seconc hose out there! The first crew took a bad position but it looked like their hose wasn't long enough to let them get where they needed to be. At least they kept the cockpit cool amongst what appeared to either be a water shortage or a kink in the hose somewhere.
    But thank god they were there. Wsh I could have seen the color of their jackets so I could tell who was from what dept there.
    I spent time on 5 carriers back in the VN era and did a triple-tour on the Enterprise (CVN64), predecessor to the Vinson CVN70. Never had to see a fire like that, thank heavens. Those men came out of the same hole where we tdy'd with our A3 squadron on the Big E: Our hoses would stretch completely across the deck.
    tomaaaaaa1
  • RE: Video: Supersonic F/A-18C Hornet bursts into flame on aircraft carrier flight deck

    From the time the plane stopped -
    it took them only 17 seconds to get the first hose on the plane.
    the second hose was on the plane within 25 seconds.
    the third hose was on the plane within 43 seconds.
    I have always been amazed at the teamwork on a flight deck (USS Intrepid '64 - '66). That pilot trusted his shipmates to get the fire out and sat in that hot seat, putting his life entirely in their hands.
    Amazing display of trust and training.
    Thanks,
    j357757
  • RE: Video: Supersonic F/A-18C Hornet bursts into flame on aircraft carrier flight deck

    Glad I didn't have to track this one
    BDHelmbrecht