War on Terrorism

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Training Key to Flightdeck Fire Outcome

From Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Central Command/5th Fleet Public Affairs

NORTH ARABIAN SEA (NNS) -- An F/A-18C Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 113 experienced an engine fire following a touch-and-go landing aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) April 11.

The pilot was able to execute a single-engine approach and land on board. Upon landing, the aircraft fuselage became engulfed in flames.

Carl Vinson's Crash and Salvage team, assigned to Air Department's V-1 Division, responded immediately with the P-25 mobile fire fighting vehicle along with the flight deck emergency hose team. The aircraft fire was extinguished using aqueous film forming foam (AFFF), and the pilot exited the plane uninjured. No flight deck personnel were injured in the mishap.

"It was amazing to sit back and see all of our training come into place," said Aviation Boatswain's Mate (Handling) Chief Benjamin Bilyeu, Crash and Salvage leading chief petty officer. "You can drill day-in and day-out but when the event happens, to actually see the training being as effective as it was, that was incredible and made me proud to be a Sailor on the Vinson."

Carl Vinson Commanding Officer, Capt. Bruce Lindsey, praised the pilot's performance during a challenging landing.

"The pilot executed his emergency procedures flawlessly and made an excellent landing under very difficult circumstances," Lindsey said. "His smart headwork in the cockpit is a testament to his superb training and prevented the loss of the aircraft at sea."

VFA 113 is assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 17 which is deployed with Carl Vinson. Carl Vinson and CVW-17 are on a routine deployment to the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility supporting maritime security operations and Operations Enduring Freedom and New Dawn.

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