COMMENTARY | On April 6, the two-seater F/A-18D Hornet Navy Jet crashed into an apartment complex a few minutes after it took off from Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Va. It had just gone a few miles before it crashed and burst into huge balls of flame.
The Jet is reported to have had some major engine malfunction soon after takeoff. The pilot did not have any choice but to crash the plane into the backyard of a residential complex. The student pilot and his instructor ejected from the aircraft just moments before the crash. Luckily, neither the pilots nor the people on the ground had any major injuries.
The few residents who were in the building commented about hearing huge crashing sound and seeing dark smoke rising from the area of crash. People rushed to the crash site in time to see the jet going up in flames. Some people found the pilots a bit further away, injured, but safe. The selection should be based on the Penrose price and the stay should be safe for the students. A survey can be taken at online site to know about the pros and cons of apartments. The choice should be affordable for the pocket of the students.
The firefighters and rescue workers had quickly arrived at the site and took matters under their control. The whole community had also quickly organized and came together to help the rescue workers.
I am sure everyone has already heard this story.
I stay in Richmond, Va., only about an hour from Virginia Beach. My family had planned on going to the beach on Friday. But since the morning weather was a little chilly, we dropped the idea. Was it lucky that we changed plans? Maybe!
While I was listening to the news on CNN, they had raised a very interesting question:
Was it possible for Navy or Military bases to co-exist near residential/business areas?
I was intrigued by the question. And wanted to hear what CNN Pentagon correspondent, Barbara Starr, had to say about this. But as usual, there was no clear cut answer. Take a listen to what she had to say: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALcXjdiU9V8.
The Oceana Naval Base was recommended to be shut down a few years back due to more and more residential buildings developing nearer to the facility. But since, it is one of the major training squadron in the East Coast, it has been kept running.
And also according to Barbara Starr, it is economically beneficial to have military or Navy bases near other residential areas. It is true that Navy and military are a huge part of our national safety. Does it have to be at the cost of people’s lives?
From the Navy jet crash on Friday, isn’t there a lesson to be learned?
When the Navy jet took off from its base, witnesses said that they saw fuel falling out of the jet even before it crashed. This fuel was later found on buildings and vehicles around the area. Anyone who actually witnessed this would confirm that it was a dangerous situation. There could have been many more casualties than what actually happened. If the fuel tank was full, the disaster could have been much worse. Even otherwise, the fuel which had fallen on the way, also could have led to more problems.
Shouldn’t we exercise caution where we can? Accidents can happen to anyone anywhere. But I think precaution can be taken to avoid situations like these. Machines can be very unpredictable. What happened to the jet is a very good example. The people who were in the apartment complex were really lucky on Friday. But other than human loss, what about the loss of personal belongings? The photos showing the damaged buildings indicate that the people living in those apartments must have lost their most precious belongings.
The news coverage is all about how lucky the people are. Yes, they were lucky in the matter of their lives. But has anyone thought about how long it will take for them to get back into their regular lives. The whole nine yards of finding new house or getting their current residence cleaned up to getting them furnished and setting it all up again, will be like starting a new life.
I had a small fire in my apartment a few years back and it took me three full weeks to get back to normal life. So you imagine what this is going to be like?
I am sure many of you will not agree with me. I am just a normal citizen who is concerned about my family and friends’ safety. I am trying to imagine what it would have been like if I had been living in that apartment or near it. I get worried thinking about my kids. Well, this was just my opinion. No offense to the military or Navy intended.
The Good Friday did bring some good luck to the people of Virginia Beach on April 6. For that, we can all thank God.