Midair collision between two F-18s and both return.

Photographer and author unknown

The unit is VFC-12 Omars based at NAS Oceana. The mishap happened on 22apr96 over the Atlantic Ocean off Virginia. The aircraft involved were 162454 ( 'AF 03' - this is the blue one) and 162475 ( 'AF 12'  - the brown one). Both aircraft received such heavy damage  that neither was restored to flying condition. 162454 did receive some repairs, only to appear on display as a gate guard at NAS Oceana  and 162475 ended up on the dump at NAS Oceana. They were in a dogfight with F-14s from VF-41 during an exercise known as SFARP, Strike Fighter Aircombat Readiness Program.

Surprised they brought them back at all!

JM "Fuji" Ramos

It's one of those days when you're out flying Top Gun one vs. one missions, to see who can "gun" who.  Okay, head-on pass with your F-18, put the pipper on that Bozo's helmet for a beautiful video tape shot of your "guns, guns, guns" kill on this guy...And the result is:  a midair collision with two F-18s and both return.  

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One comes in with part of a left wing and left vertical fin and rudder missing, while the other takes the approach end barrier missing everything forward of the cockpit pressure bulkhead - and is flying a convertable because the canopy is shattered too.  Uh, anybody seen an APG -63 radar, fire control computer, and numerous radio boxes laying around the country side?  Oh, yeah, I'm missing a complete M61A3 20mm cannon and ammo drum too, but don't tell the boss..

Whew!  these guys are sooo lucky. Usually when this happens all you get is a quick fireball in the sky and MAYBE one guy getting out badly injured after ejection, with the other team being a "mort."

For sale, two F-18s, slightly used, as is condition, make offer.

Some days it's just not worth the effort of  chewing through the straps!