Growler Canopy Exploded, Injuring Pilots (excerpt)
(Source: The San Diego Union-Tribune; published Dec 29, 2016)
By Carl Prine
The previously unexplained grounding of the US Navy’s fleet of Super Hornet and Growler combat aircraft was due to the explosion of a Growler canopy while the aircraft was still on the ground. The two crew were injured and were still in hospital on Dec. 29. (USN file photo)
A Dec. 16 canopy explosion on an electronic warfare jet that seriously injured two crew members triggered the Navy’s temporary grounding of its entire fleet of Growler and Super Hornet jets, according to an initial report.

The Naval Safety Center has classified the incident at the Navy’s Whidbey Island air station near Seattle as a “Class A Mishap,” which refers to accidents that cause $2 million or more in damage or result in permanent and total disability to a crew member.

Although the damage to the Whidbey Island Growler is marked as $0 on the initial report, Naval Safety Center spokeswoman Margaret Menzies said investigators “have not assessed the total cost of the damage” and the probe continues.

The canopy explosion on a Boeing E/A-18G Growler assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 132 caused unspecified but serious injuries to both of its aircrew shortly before a scheduled 11 a.m. takeoff on Dec. 16 at the Puget Sound airfield.

A Whidbey Island search and rescue helicopter raced the “Scorpions” crew to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle for treatment. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Union-Tribune website.


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