Another of the Navy’s troubled F-14 fighter jets crashed during training Wednesday morning, in thick woods just off a runway at the Oceana Naval Air Station. The pilot and lone crewman ejected safely.
It was the fourth crash in as many months of an F-14 Tomcat, the Navy’s top-of-the-line fighter jet. The high-performance fighter and its long record of crashes were the subject of a congressional probe on Capitol Hill on Tuesday.
The Oceana-based fighter that went down Wednesday had been engaged in so-called touch-and-go landing practice when it crashed at about 11:30 a.m., said Lt. Carla McCarthy, a Navy spokeswoman. In such training, aircraft typically approach the runway at low speed as if to land, just touch down and then quickly accelerate to take off again.
The cause of this crash, which occurred in daylight and in clear weather, was still unknown, she said.