July 27, 2013
VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) - Audio recordings from the April 2012 crash of a malfunctioning F/A-18D Hornet reveal the calm, controlled response of a team of air traffic controllers amid the maelstrom of a $29 million fighter jet bursting into flames as it crashed into an apartment complex in Virginia Beach.
More than four hours of audio recordings were obtained by The Virginian-Pilot through the Freedom of Information Act. The audio captures the response of a team of young and veteran air traffic controllers inside the glass-enclosed control tower seven stories above Oceana Naval Air Station.
Dozens of apartment units were destroyed when the Hornet careened into the Mayfair Mews apartment complex, but no one died in what the mayor called a "good Friday miracle." Both pilots ejected before impact and survived.