Losses and Aviation Safety

ATAC HAWKER HUNTER CRASHES OFF THE COAST OF SAN DIEGO

The pilot was able to eject and was recovered by a helicopter attached to HSC-6 aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt

On Aug. 22, 2017 a Hawker Hunter aircraft operated by ATAC (Airborne Tactical Advantage Company) defense contractor crashed about 100 miles off the coast of San Diego while it was “providing support to the Composite Training Unit Exercise for the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group,” the Third Fleet said in statement.

As reported by Fox 5, the pilot was able to eject and was recovered by a helicopter attached to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron SIX (HSC-6), aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN 71).

The pilot was then taken to Navy Medical Center San Diego for a full medical assessment.

Noteworthy Composite Training Unit Exercise (COMPTUEX) tests a carrier strike group’s mission-readiness and certifies that strike group for deployment. Generally during COMPUTEX “contracted aircraft” are tasked to play the role of the enemy.

Even though the cause of the accident is not yet known, Rich Martindell a former Hawker Hunter pilot, told NBC 7 that “There’s a number of different things that can go wrong. You have mechanical or internal failure of the engine itself that causes the engine to quit operating. You can have a loss of fuel to the engine. You can have a loss of oil to lube the engine that causes it to seize and fail. There are all types of reasons that could cause an engine to fail, and that’s part of what accident investigations will look into.”

The Hawker Hunter took off from Naval Base Ventura County.

Originally designed as an air superiority fighter in the 1950’s, the Hunter went on to become the most successful post-war British Military aircraft with almost 2000 being produced. Of these, about one third were later rebuilt by the manufacturer to zero time standard, the last leaving the Dunsfold factory in 1976. Aided by its high power to weight ratio, inherent strength and adaptability, the design evolved from the pure fighter in to a superlative ground attack aircraft, the pinnacle of the design being the Swiss MK58 Hunters. This version was continuously updated to accommodate the latest weapons systems prior to being prematurely retired in the mid 1990’s as a direct result of the end of the Cold War.

A pair of ex-Swiss Air Force Hunters flying in close formation behind a single Mirage III, 2011

Photo credit: Lance Cpl. Ashley Phillips / U.S. Marine Corps and Sandstein via Wikipedia

Additional source: ATAC

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

The story of the Iraqi MiG-23 that crashed while trying to escape from two AIM-54 Phoenix missiles fired by US Navy F-14 Tomcats

The F-14 Tomcat Following Grumman's tradition of naming its aircraft after cats, the new F-14… Read More

21 hours ago

Did you know the Tu-95V that released the Tsar Bomba it dropped 621 ft when it was hit by the shock wave of the bomb?

The Tu-95V: a special Bear to drop the Tsar Bomba The Tupolev Tu-95 strategic bomber… Read More

21 hours ago

Two Blackjacks did a flying display for US observers having the first close look at the Tu-160. Both flew with 3 engines because 1 engine failed on each aircraft.

The Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack The Tupolev Tu-160 Blackjack is a supersonic, variable-sweep wing heavy strategic… Read More

2 days ago

US Navy Operations Specialist tells why an F-16 armed for the SEAD mission would win against an S-400 SAM most of the time

The SA-21 Growler The S-400 Triumf (NATO reporting name SA-21 Growler) is a mobile, surface-to-air… Read More

3 days ago

The story of when two Concorde supersonic airliners landed simultaneously at Orlando International Airport (They cooked the runway when they took off)

When two Concorde supersonic airliners landed simultaneously at Orlando International Airport Taken on Oct. 18,… Read More

3 days ago