- The Washington Times - Friday, April 6, 2012

A Navy fighter jet flying a training mission crashed into an apartment building in Virginia Beach about noon Friday, officials said.

The jet’s two-man crew ejected before the crash and are being treated for minor injuries. Both are doing well, according to a statement from the Naval Air Force Atlantic.

No casualties or fatalities were reported. According to the Associated Press, some bystanders were being treated for smoke inhalation.

One pilot was in fleet replacement pilot training, and the other was an experienced instructor pilot. Both were forced to eject when their aircraft suffered a catastrophic mechanical malfunction shortly after takeoff.

The crash occurred just after takeoff at about 12:05 p.m. As a result of the crash, Naval Air Station Oceana — where the flight took off — shut down all flight operations and will conduct limited flights tomorrow morning to recover eight jets that diverted to another airfield in Norfolk, Va.

Flight operations will continue as scheduled Monday morning. The Navy is continuing to coordinate with local authorities, and the cause of the accident is under investigation.

The jet, an F/A-18D Hornet, is assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 106. It is a fighter and attack aircraft, designed for interdiction and close air support.

The squadron is based at the Naval Air Station Oceana and serves as the East Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron. Its mission is to train Navy and Marine Corps F/A-18 replacement pilots and weapon systems officers.

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