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Two Super Hornets have suffered in-flight engine fires this month

A Virginia-based F/A-18F Super Hornet jet suffered an in-flight engine fire during training on Monday, the second such mishap in recent weeks, officials have confirmed.

The jet, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 11 out of Naval Air Station Oceana, experienced “a brief in-flight engine fire” near the Virginia Capes at about noon during training, Naval Air Force Atlantic spokeswoman Cmdr. Jennifer Cragg said.

The jet landed safely and there were no injuries, she said.

Monday’s Class A aviation mishap follows a similar airborne engine fire Sept. 10 on a Super Hornet assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 103 that was also flying a training mission near the Virginia Capes and assigned to NAS Oceana.

Cragg declined to say whether officials have any reason to believe the mishaps shared a similar cause.

A F/A-18F Super Hornet made an emergency landing earlier this month after an in-flight engine fire. A Super Hornet is shown here in 2013. (Navy)
Super Hornet makes emergency landing after engine fire

The F/A-18F, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 103 out of Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia, was conducting routine training near the Virginia Capes at the time of the Sept. 10 mishap.

“At this point, it is too early to speculate the causal factors for the in-flight engine fire with both VFA-103 and VFA-11, but an investigation will determine the contributing factors,” Cragg said, adding that there has been no impact to ongoing training.

Monday’s mishap was the sixth involving a Super Hornet jet this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30, according to Navy data.

That comprises half of the 12 Fiscal 2020 manned and unmanned mishaps in the Class A category, which denotes more than $2.5 million in damages, severe injury or loss of life.

[Editor’s note: This story has been corrected to accurately reflect the damage threshold for a Class A mishap.]

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