At about 12:05 p.m. EST this afternoon an F/A-18D Hornet Navy jet crashed into the courtyard of the Mayfair Mews apartment complex in Virginia Beach, Virginia. While information is still being gathered, numerous reports suggest that the pilots of the jet purposely dumped the jet’s remaining fuel reserve prior to their descent and ultimate collision with the building. Fuel trails on nearby buildings and vehicles support the account.
The pilots’ quick thinking likely prevented a major disaster, as the highly flammable jet fuel would have turned the jet into a massive fireball within the residential area. Instead, only two buildings within the complex were on fire immediately after the crash. There are currently emergency and fire crew on the scene, including the Virginia Beach Fire Department. Governor Bob McDonnell has confirmed that the state is providing immediate resources and ground assistance to Virginia Beach Mayor Will Sessoms.
Area witnesses say that at least one of the pilots was able to eject from the cockpit prior to the jet’s actual crash. Officials are reporting that the two pilots, as well as other unidentified individuals, were taken to a nearby hospital, likely for smoke inhalation. At this time there are no residents declared missing.