Hunt For U.S. Marine Jet Crash Continues

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Update By: Winnie Wright
February 23, 2015 5 pm

Echols County, Ga. - Two U.S. Marines suffered minor injuries when ejected from an F/A-18D near Statenville, Ga., February 22. Marines and Airmen were working together today to find the jet that crash landed during a training exercise.

The crash happened around three in the afternoon. A resident told authorities he spotted parachutes in the sky, followed them in to the woods, and found two pilots that were injured, but alive.

Lt. Brianca Williams of Moody AFB confirms, "The jet did come from Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station, so it is their air craft and it was piloted by two Marines."

Personnel from Moody's 23d Wing responded to the scene and assisted the Georgia Forestry Commission and Echols County fire and sheriff departments, who initially responded to the accident location.

Deputy Michael Anderson of Echols County Sheriff's Office says, "The pilots were wet and bloody from having to parachute out to the swamp. They were both conscious and talking. One of them had a laceration to the arm, which I bandaged and we kind of kept them still until the EMTs got here."

The pilots were released from South Georgia Medical Center this afternoon. Since the crash, both Marines and Airmen have worked around the clock to search for and secure the missing jet.

Incident Command says they're going to have to bring out john boats and canoes to be able to get to the main crash site, let alone extract it. This process is expected to last several days.

Assistant Chief Stacey Maples of Moody Fire and Rescue says, "It's a Marine Corps air craft so what we're going to do is hand it off to the Marine Corps. They will initiate an investigation and try to come to a conclusion about what caused the incident."

Incident Command adds the fighter jet caused a 250 acre forest fire and is expected to be in multiple pieces. Moody asks that if you find a piece of the jet, you should call local law enforcement because that jet could still be explosive.


Update: WCTV Eyewitness News
February 23, 2015

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- Moody Air Force Base and Marine Officials have located what they believe is the main body of the F-18 fighter jet.

There was some confusion yesterday on where the aircraft came from but officials have determined that the F-18 came from Beaufort, South Carolina and is a Marine aircraft.

The Jet was conducting a training exercise when the crash happened.

The two pilots parachuted from the aircraft and are expected to be released from South Georgia Medical Center this afternoon.

Moody will be handing the investigation over to the Marines this afternoon and say they expect this investigation to last several days because of the swampy terrain.

No further details are available at this time.


UPDATE: F/A-18D crashes near Statenville, Ga

MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. - Two U.S. Marines suffered minor injuries when they ejected from an F/A-18D near Statenville, Ga., Feb. 22. The aviators are being treated at South Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta.

Personnel from Moody's 23d Wing responded to the scene and assisted the Georgia Forestry Commission and Echols County fire and sheriff departments, which initially responded to the accident location.

The crash site has been cordoned off and military officials will remain overnight. The public is advised to steer clear of the area while first responders work to secure the scene. Further recovery efforts will continue in the morning as the debris fields are cleared and the impact areas are identified.

The aircraft is assigned to Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station in Beaufort,
S.C.

The cause of the accident is currently under investigation.


Press Release From Moody Air Force Base
MOODY AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -

Personnel from the 23d Wing are currently responding to a military aircraft crash near Statenville, Ga., Feb. 22.

Both aviators ejected and are currently under medical evaluation at South
Georgia Medical Center in Valdosta.

The aircraft, an FA-18D, took off from Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station in
Beaufort, S.C.

The public is advised to steer clear of the area while first responders work
to secure the scene. More information will be released as it becomes
available.

The cause of the accident is currently under investigation.

Check back with WCTV when more details are available.




 
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