Fighter jet catches fire while refueling on USS Truman

In a June 15, 2015 file photo, Lt. B. J. Burnham signals to launch an F/A-18C Hornet from the flight deck of aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman, off the east coast of the United States.


By TARA COPP | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 12, 2015

A Navy F/A-18C refueling aboard the USS Harry S. Truman caught fire late Tuesday, injuring the pilot and a sailor on deck, the Navy said Wednesday.

The fire was quickly extinguished; the pilot ejected and landed on the flight deck. He was treated and taken to New Hanover Regional Medical Center, Wilmington, N.C., with non-life threatening injuries, the Navy said. A sailor on deck was also injured and sent to New Hanover with non-life threatening injuries.

Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesman Cmdr. Mike Kafka said the cause of the fire and the pilot’s decision to eject will be part of the Navy’s investigation.

The pilot was taking part in night flying training operations with Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 106 when the incident occurred around midnight Tuesday. The Truman, operating off the coast of Virginia in the Atlantic Ocean,  temporarily suspended training operations after the incident.

It’s the third mishap this week for military aviation. An Army UH-60 Black Hawk made a hard landing onto the USNS Red Cloud off Okinawa on Wednesday, injuring seven servicemembers. On Monday, an Air Force F-16 assigned to Spangdahlem Air Base crashed near Bayreuth, Germany. The pilot safely ejected in that crash and was treated for minor injuries.

Twitter: @TaraCopp

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