All Navy F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets, Growlers grounded after incident injuring aircrew

By: Andrew Tilghman

The Navy temporarily grounded all F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets and E/A-18G Growlers Friday after an aircrew was injured and a Growler damaged in an undisclosed incident Friday at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Navy officials said.

The aircrew of an E/A-18G jet assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron 132 was injured in an “on-deck emergency” about 11 a.m. Friday, according to a statement from Naval Air Forces.

Naval Air Forces has temporarily suspended flight operations for all F/A-18 E/F Super Hornets and E/A-18G Growlers as a safety precaution since they share common aircraft systems, according to the Navy statement.

The operational pause will allow both Naval Air Systems Command and engineers from Boeing, which manufactures both aircraft, time to investigate the incident, Navy officials said.

Cmdr. Jeannie Groeneveld, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Forces, told Navy Times Saturday there were two aircrew involved, the pilot and electronic warfare officer. They were both admitted to the hospital.
The ground emergency involved the jet’s canopy, and an investigation is underway to determine the cause of the incident, said Groeneveld.
Navy officials say commanders can make exceptions to the fleets’ grounding on a case-by case basis for operational needs.
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