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January 15, 2004

F-18 Drivers miscalculate.

FA-18 Mid-Air Collision

Two F/A-18 Hornets from Top Gun were Dogfighting and made a head on pass, just a bit too close. One got home with part of the left wing and left vertical fin and rudder missing, while the other jet is missing everything forward of the cockpit pressure bulkhead and is a flying convertible because the canopy is shattered too.

These guys are lucky.

It shows how rugged these aircraft are...Also shows how good our pilots are.

The pilots would have been justified in "punching out" but instead, they chose to bring the jets in. This endangered their lives but saved the taxpayers about 80 million dollars. What is especially intriguing is in picture 03, notice the radome, radar and all of the avionics equipment, everything, in front is gone. This created several problems for the pilot: aerodynamics, eventual loss of hydraulics due to loss of fluid, navigation, and probably the most amazing, as the pieces fell away, some debris had to be ingested by the engines (F.O.D.) and he still was able to bring it home.

Hat tip to Mike L!