Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 31 Jul 2019, 22:08
by spazsinbad
Also: https://news.usni.org/2019/07/31/califo ... ot-unknown
Navy F/A-18E fighter jet crashes in Inyo County; search-and-rescue team responds to Death Valley National Park area
01 Aug 2019 KABC TV

"INYO COUNTY, Calif. (KABC) -- A single-seat U.S. Navy fighter jet crashed Wednesday morning in Inyo County and the pilot's status was unknown, officials confirmed. A search-and-rescue helicopter was dispatched to the scene from Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake about 10 a.m., according to Commander Ron Flanders, a spokesman for U.S. Naval Air Forces.

Seven people on the ground suffered minor injuries, a spokesperson for Death Valley National Park said. It's not clear exactly how they were injured.

Joint Strike Fighter Wing public affairs officer. Lt. Cmdr. Lydia Bock said the aircraft was assigned to the "Vigilantes" of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151 based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, California.

According to KNTV, initial reports indicated the jet went down on the west side of Death Valley National Park, near the Father Crowley Overlook, which has been temporarily closed. The overlook is an area informally known as "Star Wars Canyon," which has been used for military training flights since the 1930s, said Patrick Taylor, a spokesperson for the park.

The location regularly attracts tourists eager to watch military pilots make their way through the narrow canyon in maneuvers that evoke the "Star Wars" films."

Source: https://abc7.com/navy-f-a-18e-fighter-j ... n/5433048/

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 31 Jul 2019, 22:35
by sprstdlyscottsmn
sh*t

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2019, 01:21
by spazsinbad
"Fellow Vigilantes,
There has been a tragedy in our squadron. Please standby for further information that will be passed using pre approved scripts. The response to any Naval mishap is critical to the emotional well-being of all involved parties. Please allow the investigation process to be completed as designed. As we deal with this mishap together as a Navy family, it is critical that everyone refrain from sharing information through social media or with friends and family. Well intentioned social media posts during past mishaps have caused unintended, yet irreparable, harm to the families involved. Honor your fellow brothers and sisters and their families by honouring the process." https://www.facebook.com/VFA151/


https://scontent.fsyd7-1.fna.fbcdn.net/ ... e=5DAAE128

Image

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2019, 01:44
by Corsair1963
Honestly, surprising they don't have more crashes in Star Wars Canyon. Nonetheless, I pray he (or she) made it out in time. Yet, it doesn't sound good.....

:-|

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2019, 02:47
by spazsinbad

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2019, 06:52
by invictus
Still no news on fate of the pilot.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2019, 17:37
by outlaw162
Wonder what the indications from the manual GCAS system were?

1000 AM....sun angle illusion?

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2019, 18:50
by spazsinbad
Bit pointless to speculate without any other details: http://hrana.org/news/2019/08/navy-jet- ... th-valley/

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2019, 19:31
by outlaw162
Bit pointless to speculate without any other details


You know, those kind of comments are a bit pointless. How many details do you require one to have to speculate?

I was in this business a long time, and neither I, nor my family would have had any problem with 'speculation' about the event if I had skipped off a ridge-line. You prepare for this before the fact. There are a bare minimum of 'thin-skinned' people associated with the fighter business and the ones with the requisite 'thick skin' are generally willing to accept the fact that an outwardly well-intentioned display of sensitivity and reservation isn't going to change what occurred.

(There are other details available on that 'other site', though out of well-intentioned sensitivity, I won't reproduce that here.)

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 01 Aug 2019, 20:19
by spazsinbad
Well "'bully' for you" [look it up]. I was in the business of fast miljet low flying also. Less than fifty feet over water and of course briefed altitude over land, down deep valleys and skimming over flat table lands into the next deep valley, you can google earth the terrain south/southwest of NAS Nowra. Of course fast miljet flying at any level is dangerous for the many reasons extant on this and other forums. BUT why speculate if YOU have no more information about the actual accident to put forward. Don't be shy. IF you know more then tell us. Otherwise - without details - speculation is useless.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2019, 03:51
by spazsinbad

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2019, 04:45
by sprstdlyscottsmn
:( :salute:

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2019, 09:29
by quicksilver
There are few places in the US that offer more spectacular low level flying than the Edwards/China Lake Complex. For those unfamiliar, over the years there were several places that were informally labeled ‘Star Wars Canyon.’ Most (but not all) have faded into memory; this one has retained the label over time. It is on the northern half, western side of the Panamint Valley where Hwy 190 crosses the valley and snakes back up into the mountains west of Panamint Springs.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2019, 12:14
by spazsinbad
Panamint Springs & Star Wars Canyon top left via Google Earth west & north + zoom. Click on the pic for a better view.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2019, 17:03
by outlaw162
Otherwise - without details - speculation is useless.


Consider me as uselessly speculating for the 7 folks with 2nd degree burns.

Looking at the spectacular Google earth pics, and considering all the discussion on this forum about 5th gen thinking and glorious systems to preserve assets for 5th gen ops, is there then really a legitimate requirement for this type of ultra-low level training in this day and age?

Not an unreasonable question to ask of all the experts here, I would venture. Enlighten me.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2019, 17:37
by quicksilver
outlaw162 wrote:
Otherwise - without details - speculation is useless.


Consider me as uselessly speculating for the 7 folks with 2nd degree burns.

Looking at the spectacular Google earth pics, and considering all the discussion on this forum about 5th gen thinking and glorious systems to preserve assets for 5th gen ops, is there then really a legitimate requirement for this type of ultra-low level training in this day and age?

Not an unreasonable question to ask of all the experts here, I would venture. Enlighten me.


A more than fair question. You’re not the first to ask (just the most recent) — and with it — ‘how low’, ‘how many flights (for a qual of some kind), ‘how often’ (refly interval) and, (probably the biggest one) ‘why in the jet’ (as opposed to the sim)?

You’ll get some very emotional responses from some.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 02 Aug 2019, 21:24
by spazsinbad
Sidewinder Low Level Route - Jedi Transition - Star Wars Canyon:
https://cimg8.ibsrv.net/gimg/pprune.org ... 58a1df.jpg

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 03 Aug 2019, 05:12
by spazsinbad
Name of USN Pilot killed in the crash and other details:
Navy Identifies Pilot Killed in Death Valley Super Hornet Crash
02 Aug 2019 Sam LaGrone

"Lt. Charles Walker, 33, died when his F/A-18E Super Hornet crashed about 40 miles north of Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake, Calif. He was on a training mission over a canyon at the national park when the crash occurred. Walker was assigned to the “Vigilantes” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 151, based at Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif....

...A Navy summary of the crash reviewed by USNI News said the aircraft impacted against the side of the canyon wall during low altitude training. The crash occurred in the so-called “Star Wars” canyon at Death Valley – a popular spot for military aviation photographers. The National Park Service said that seven people suffered minor injuries as a result of the crash. An investigation into the crash is ongoing.

Walker had reported to the squadron in February 2018, shortly after the Vigilantes had returned from a deployment aboard USS John C. Stennis (CVN-74), according to his official Navy biography. Prior to the assignment, Walker had been assigned to the Strike Fighter Weapons School Pacific at NAS Lemoore. He had also been assigned to the “Dambuster” Strike Fighter Squadron 195 as part of the Navy’s forward-deployed Carrier Air Wing 5 based at Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, Japan." He commissioned in late 2008 shortly before graduating from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida...."

Source: https://news.usni.org/2019/08/02/navy-i ... rnet-crash

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 04 Aug 2019, 15:54
by spazsinbad

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 04 Aug 2019, 21:30
by outlaw162
From the PDF:

The SIDEWINDER and JEDI Transition are not published MTRs.


(MTR = Military Training Route)

For non-Edwards AFB or NAS China Lake units is there some sort of MOU involved or can anyone use the route at their discretion?

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 04 Aug 2019, 22:50
by quicksilver
Been a while since I flew there. Airspace is part of the Edwards/China Lake complex, some of it Restricted, some (most) of it MOAs (at least up north). The airspace used to be scheduled usage only...can’t imagine it has become less so.

For those unfamiliar — https://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publica ... n_5.2.html

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 04 Aug 2019, 23:13
by spazsinbad
https://www.google.com/search?q=The+cra ... ss&ie=&oe=

This news report replicated in a lot of places - video worth watching:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-01/ ... k/11375042

I'm not sure of exact location however one may see a Super Hornet flying down the valley briefly. I'll look for Dafydd Phillips YouTube videos....

https://www.google.com/search?q=Dafydd+ ... ss&ie=&oe=

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 04 Aug 2019, 23:21
by outlaw162
The airspace used to be scheduled usage only


Yeah, I would be sure it's scheduled usage only now. We (actually I) used to be the scheduling authority for 2 VR's, 1 IR and a MOA. I was just curious as to who could schedule a non-published MTR. Innocent question.

Thank you for referencing the FAA. :D

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2019, 00:15
by quicksilver
outlaw162 wrote:
The airspace used to be scheduled usage only


Yeah, I would be sure it's scheduled usage only now. We (actually I) used to be the scheduling authority for 2 VR's, 1 IR and a MOA. I was just curious as to who could schedule a non-published MTR. Innocent question.

Thank you for referencing the FAA. :D


The airspace usage is scheduled; route usage (as noted) relies on procedural control — my take being that anyone who is scheduled for the airspace can use the “route(s)” — compliance with published procedures above assumed.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2019, 00:22
by jetblast16

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2019, 00:22
by quicksilver
spazsinbad wrote:https://www.google.com/search?q=The+crash+sent+dark+smoke+billowing+in+the+air,+said+Aaron+Cassell&sourceid=ie7&rls=com.microsoft:en-US:IE-Address&ie=&oe=

This news report replicated in a lot of places - video worth watching:

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-08-01/ ... k/11375042

I'm not sure of exact location however one may see a Super Hornet flying down the valley briefly. I'll look for Dafydd Phillips YouTube videos....

https://www.google.com/search?q=Dafydd+ ... ss&ie=&oe=


Like all canyon flying, it’s pretty easy to scrape oneself off on the rocks under ones belly in a turn.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2019, 01:51
by outlaw162
my take being that anyone who is scheduled for the airspace can use the “route(s)”


That may well be the case, but a bit of plain language not requiring interpretation would leave no doubt. Maybe it is written clearly in some other document.

I can see the possibility that in a Rev 3 one may get further clarification on the intent of the phrase 'for local use only' also.

I learned a long time ago that accidents drive the majority of the content in entire manuals (60-16s for example).....And changes to those manuals occurred quite often.

(beautiful shadows in the video)

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2019, 02:07
by quicksilver
R-2508 References —

https://www.edwards.af.mil/Home/R-2508/

Note User Brief, User Handbook, and Pilot Guide...

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 05 Aug 2019, 03:12
by outlaw162
From what I've read, you are entirely correct. Scheduling of the airspace does include the option of using the Sidewinder as long as it's noted in the Remarks section of the DD-175. Put me in coach.

I hope there won't be a test on this.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 07 Aug 2019, 12:18
by spazsinbad
Four minute video with 'best bits'? from the three minute mark YMMV - mostly Super Hornets flying through recently.

Star Wars Canyon Day 1 July 8th 2019 [from 3 min mark best] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K3H9LLMWe60


Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 07 Aug 2019, 15:17
by outlaw162
Probably a bunch of deaf varmints in that canyon.

Yes, I can see where this is valuable training for the young lady T-38 driver.

edit: I notice from the Edward's User Brief that the Fresno air defenders have pre-designated entry and exit points for the airspace. I wonder if you ever see their Eagles down there?

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 07 Aug 2019, 18:12
by outlaw162
I guess this answers the question. Callsign FAT22. No need for look-down, shoot-down here. I guess theoretically there's a requirement to intercept and ID drug-runners.

(There's also a video of a C-17 on 'you tube' making 3 passes. :shock: I didn't see in the procedural controls where you could 'pop up' and come back around for another go at it.)

This reminds me of the old LAAT circuits.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 09 Aug 2019, 15:36
by spazsinbad
8) Just a reminder of what these chaps do otherwise when not 'canyon flying' or otherwise being LAND LUBBERS. :devil:

F/A-18F Carrier Break [25 Oct 2017] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz7dluAFXb0
“Bringing a section of fighters back to the boat at 500' and 480 Knots.” Wingnut172N


Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 12 Aug 2019, 00:13
by outlaw162
Another non-initiate question:

In Spaz's exciting 'canyon' video on the previous page (not the boat NoPro LAND LUBBER-line video with the weird flying gloves just above).....that black T-38 flying the Jedi appears to be a Beale AFB 9th RW aircraft, a flight time proficiency trainer for U-2 pilots. Now as far as I know, U-2s generally perform their missions above 60,000 feet, except to land. What possible reason does a 9th RW T-38 have for flying the Sidewinder, let alone the photographer packed Jedi?

Any U-2 drivers or knowledgeable others, enlighten me again.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 12 Aug 2019, 01:01
by quicksilver
Why? Because some pilot stuff makes you better at everything else you do. Low altitude stuff qualifies in that regard; I doubt they spend much time on it.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 12 Aug 2019, 04:06
by outlaw162
You know as a point of continued discussion, I'm not sure that 'stuff' they don't spend much time on is worth the effort or the seemingly consistent obligatory use of AB for the admittedly captivating drama prominently displayed thru the canyon.

In 50 years of professional (for pay) flying (1964-2014, no desk jobs) I was ultimately convinced that if 'stuff' wasn't necessary to be trained to complete proficiency with currency maintained, it wasn't worth the time, money or risk to do it at all.

Admittedly training low level navigation in aircraft with GPS/inertial and moving map is fairly straight forward (to the point of, as you say, the tasking being well adapted to current advanced simulation capability). (BTW Lowat T-38 adversaries for the Raptors are restricted to 500' AGL.)

But teaching U-2 guys low level navigation in the T-38 as 'pilot stuff' seems to me to fall in the same category as teaching F-35 drivers to manual bomb.

(Although all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, but call it what it is)

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 12 Aug 2019, 04:21
by quicksilver
“...call it what it is.”

Sour grapes?

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 12 Aug 2019, 04:40
by outlaw162
To some extent. I sure do miss it.

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 12 Aug 2019, 11:46
by spazsinbad
outlaw162 wrote:To some extent. I sure do miss it.

Be happy for the time you have had. I'm not sure what it was but hey - not many people get to do it - and for so long? 8)

Re: Navy F/A-18E crashes in Inyo County [star wars canyon]

Unread postPosted: 03 Sep 2019, 04:50
by spazsinbad
BinWaitin' for more info - I guess this may take some time - so went looking for more SD Official Info to find these:

http://www.aangfs.com/wp-content/upload ... iation.pdf (1.9Mb USAF SD Info 2015)
&
https://www.cnatra.navy.mil/local/docs/ ... /P-912.pdf (1.1Mb USN CNATRA Low Level Flight Training with SD info)