Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Navy Looks into FA-18 Crash Focus Centered on Plane, Catapult

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Navy Looks into FA-18 Crash Focus Centered on Plane, Catapult

Article excerpt

********** CORRECTION (2/13/98)

Because of an editing error, a story on Page B-2 Wednesday

incorrectly stated the number of FA-18 jets from Cecil Field Naval

Air Station that crashed within a week. Only one Cecil Field

jet crashed in that period.

**********

The Navy is investigating if problems with a Jacksonville-based

jet or the catapult that launched it from the carrier USS Dwight

D. Eisenhower might have caused the plane to crash Sunday during

a training exercise off Puerto Rico, a Navy official said.

The pilot, Lt. Cmdr. Tom Halley of Strike Fighter Squadron 81

out of Cecil Field Naval Air Station, ejected safely from the

FA-18 fighter-bomber. He suffered only a minor cut on his right

ankle.

Cmdr. Joe Gradisher, a spokesman for the Navy's Atlantic Fleet

Air Force, said the plane had insufficient speed to get airborne

after it was launched off the ship. The carriers use powerful,

steam-driven catapults to slingshot aircraft off their short

decks. …

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