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F/A-18 Hornet Losses - Very Incomplete

Even before the first bomb fell, some observers believed the air campaign held the promise of winning the Persian Gulf War. But overall there was rampant uncertainty over whether air power could assure the outcome without a major ground offensive that might entail a notable loss of life. Computer models using traditional assumptions about attrition warfare predicted allied casualties in the thousands. The final authorizing order from the President to the Commander in Chief, Central Command, acknowledged that losses could reach 10 percent of fielded coalition ground forces. Despite such concerns, the consequences of initial air operations on shaping the war could not be denied. Opening attacks against command and control facilities and integrated air defenses proved uniformly successful, with some 800 combat sorties launched at night under radio silence against important targets. Only one coalition aircraft was lost, a Navy F/A-18, presumably to an infrared missile from a MiG-25.

On October 18, 2002 two F/A-18F assigned to VFA 41 based at Lemoore Naval Air Station, Calif., crashed at sea approximately 80 miles southwest of Monterey, Calif. The aircraft were operating with six other aircraft from the same squadron and were conducting routine training. They did not have any weapons on board.

A U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet aircraft operating from USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) crashed in the Western Pacific ocean at approximately 8:15 p.m. EST Feb. 18, 2003. The jet was conducting routine flight operations approximately 45 miles from the aircraft carrier. The pilot safely ejected from the aircraft prior to the crash. One of Carl Vinson's helicopters, which was airborne at the time of the crash, was immediately dispatched to conduct rescue operations. The helicopter, from Helicopter Support Squadron 8, immediately reported to the scene and established communications with the pilot. The pilot was recovered by the helicopter crew, was uninjured and was been returned to Carl Vinson. The aircraft ws assigned to Fighter Attack Squadron 147, the Argonauts, homebased at Naval Air Station Lemoore, CA.

On 6 April 2012, an F/A-18D of Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) crashed into the center of an apartment complex in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The jet crashed shortly after take-off from Naval Air Station Oceana. Both pilots ejected. One pilot landed into the crash site and sustained injuries requiring hospitalization. The other pilot was not injured. Two of the apartment buildings caught fire after the crash and at least one person on the ground was injured.

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