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F-18's colide

Breaking news. 2 F-18's have just collided over the Columbia River.
One pilot still alive and debris every where.
Stayed tuned.
One Dead on Oregon Side, One Dead on Washington Side 21.Jul.2004 18:44

reuters reapost

Marine Jets Collide Over Oregon, Two Dead

Wed Jul 21, 2004 08:09 PM ET

SEATTLE (Reuters) - Two U.S. Marine Corps fighter jets collided in a fiery crash over the Columbia River in Oregon on Wednesday, killing two of the three crewmen involved, local officials said.

"We have two pilots that have been found dead, one on the Oregon side of the Columbia River and one on the Washington (state) side," Chris Fitzsimmons, Emergency Management Coordinator for Oregon's Gilliam County, told Reuters by telephone.

The third man was injured and taken to Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, Oregon, where he was in good condition, local television reported.

Eyewitnesses reported seeing three parachutes in the air, indicating all three airmen managed to eject from their aircraft, according to local television.

The aircraft, F-18s based in Miramar, California, were on their way from Portland, Oregon, to a training range, when they collided at about 2:30 p.m., a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known. Eyewitnesses described hearing a loud boom and seeing a fireball, Fitzsimmons said.

One of the jets was designed for a single pilot, the other required two crew members.


sign on sandiego's mil section? 21.Jul.2004 22:56

willamette

 http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/military/20040721-1901-wst-jetscollide.html
Two dead after Miramar-based jets collide over Oregon

By Shannon Dininny
ASSOCIATED PRESS

7:01 p.m. July 21, 2004

ARLINGTON, Ore. - Two Marine reservists based out of Miramar air station are dead after two F-18 fighter jets collided Wednesday during a training exercise over the Columbia River in northeastern Oregon, authorities said.

One of the bodies was found on the Oregon side of the river, the other on the Washington side, according to Chris Fitzsimmons, a deputy sheriff in Gilliam County.

Capt. Michael Braibish with the Oregon National Guard said at least one of those dead was a pilot; the other one is either a pilot or a weapons operator.

An additional crew member survived and was to be released Wednesday evening from the emergency room at Mid-Columbia Medical Center.

"In some respects, it's very amazing - no broken bones, no abrasions, minor injuries," said Dr. John Jacobson, who treated the survivor.

Nancy Corey, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration in Seattle, said the jets were based at Miramar.

The planes were on low altitude training exercise from a national guard base in Portland to a bombing range in Boardman, Ore., said Lt. Col. Bill Nielson with the Oregon Air National Guard. One plane was a single seater, while the other had two seats, he said.

Andrew David, 34, of Goldendale, Wash., was casting out his fishing nets on the river when he heard the noise of the jets colliding. When he looked up, he saw the flames above his head and two parachutes, one of which landed in the water. He rushed over to try and help the man, David said, but it was clear that the parachutist was dead.

"When you see something like this, you don't expect to be right in the middle of it," David said. "Debris was dropping by us. He was pretty beat up. It was pretty bad. We don't want to see anything like this again."

Other witnesses on the ground also reported seeing only two parachutes open.

"I walked out from under the canopy and saw the two planes coming down. One was engulfed in flames. A minute later, I saw two parachutes," said Dan Adams, a Chevron gas station employee in Arlington.

Fitzsimmons, the Gilliam County deputy sheriff, said debris landed as far as eight miles from Arlington.

Debris from the incident could include fuel, metal and composite carbon fibers, said Chuck Donaldson, emergency response manager for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

"Normally the fuel in those things tends to burn up in the crash or evaporate on the ground very quickly," Donaldson said.

The other material would also be unlikely to have much of an environmental impact because it is so widely dispersed, he said.

Donaldson said that anyone who comes across debris should leave it alone and report it to their local sheriff, who would then contact the military.

"They've been pretty rigorous about picking everything up after a crash," he said.

The F-18 has either one or two seats depending on the version. It was first test-flown in 1978.

It is used by the Navy and Marine Corps and several countries including Canada, Australia, Spain, Kuwait, Switzerland, Finland and Malaysia.

In the American arsenal the F-18 replaced the F-4 Phantom II, the A-7 Corsair and the A-6 Intruder as those planes were phased out of service in the 1990s.

They are designed for air-to-air and air-to-ground combat.