Marines ground 84 Harrier jets following 2 crashes
June 18, 1999
From Chris Plante
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The U.S. Marine Corps has grounded part of its fleet of AV-8 "Harrier" jets following two crashes in as many weeks, a Marine Corps spokeswoman told CNN. The pilots were able to eject from the aircraft in both cases, sustaining relatively minor injuries.
The Harrier is a vertical-short take off & landing (VSTOL) attack jet used to support Marine Corps ground forces. It is typically a single-seat jet, with two-seat versions used for training.
As a result of the two crashes, the Marine Corps has halted flight operations for 84 of its 140 Harrier jets until a safety review can be conducted. No timetable was given.
The 84 planes grounded are outfitted with Rolls Royce 408A engines. Fifty-six Harriers equipped with other engines are not subject to the safety stand-down, said Marine Capt. Aisha M. Bakkar-Poe.
Six of the grounded attack jets are currently aboard the amphibious assault ship U.S.S. Kearsarge now sailing in the Adriatic Sea in support of NATO operations in Yugoslavia.
The first Harrier crashed during take off June 4 at Kadena Airbase in Okinawa, Japan, and a second crashed June 14 during a training flight at the Barry Goldwater Bombing and Gunnery Range in Arizona.
Both crashes are under investigation.
Two military jets crash in separate incidents in Arizona
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