Here’s why the U.S. Navy recovered this F/A-18F Super Hornet wreckage from the sea

These photos show that also an aircraft wreckage can be useful to avoid future incidents.

Taken on Jul. 22, 2015 the following interesting pictures feature U.S. Navy Divers and Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) technicians, assigned to Commander, Task Group (CTG) 56.1, successfully salvaging an F/A-18F Super Hornet lost at sea aboard USNS Catawba (T-ATF 168).

Noteworthy this aircraft was lost because of a mechanical failure suffered by one of its engines and its salvage will allow a close inspection on the engine that failed.

This F/A-18F (AB 210, BuNo 166814) was assigned to the “Fighting Checkmates” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 211 and crashed in the Arabian Gulf on May 12, 2015 shortly after its launch from the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-71).

The aircrew ejected safely and was recovered by USS Theodore Roosevelt search and rescue personnel.

Image credit: Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Arthurgwain L. Marquez / U.S. Navy

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    • My more precise question is why did this F-18 crash on takeoff wit one good engine running at full power?

  1. The Checkmates were in CAG 9 in the eighties, embarked in Kitty Hawk for the World Cruise. I was also in that Air Wing in VA-147

  2. I think another, and bigger reason, is the same reason the Navy salvaged an F-14 and Phoenix missiles in the Atlantic in the late 70’s. That is, so no one else can salvage it.

    • Yes, but that was when the F-14 was brand new, and no one else save Iran had them. This technology is pretty old and widely exported, not much reason for another nation to salvage it. It wouldn’t be that difficult for a major player to gain access to a fully functional one, I imagine.

      Please correct me if I’m wrong with my assumption regarding age of the tech in this Hornet.

    • …Or, We keep a salvage tug on call in the Med and there’s not much going on. I was on the USS Beaufort out of Hickam and we did a lot of ‘make-work’ jobs like this to practice skills in case an actual emergency occurred. I suspect the Brass though this salvage job was better than the Catawba sitting in Naples with the crew drinking beer and chasing Humpty Dumpty around.

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