Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another military jet starts a fire

The pilot of an F/A-18 Super Hornet meant for his laser guided bomb to land on a Florida bombing range on Tuesday, but he missed it by a mile--exactly--starting a fire in a national forest. Today U.S. Forest Service firefighters are mopping up the 250-acre fire started by the bomb outside the Pinecastle target range about 60 miles northwest of Orlando.

While inert bombs occasionally land outside the bombing range, a Navy spokesman said this is the first time a live bomb has missed the range. Thankfully no one was hurt when the 500-pound bomb exploded.

I thought a laser-guided bomb could be guided through a window in an outhouse.....but missing the entire bombing range?

Other military aircraft have started vegetation fires in the last 12 months:

On March 25, 2008 Wildfire Today reported on a B-1 bomber that caught fire while in flight near Ellsworth Air Force Base near Rapid City and apparently started several vegetation fires from falling debris before landing safely at Ellsworth.

Wildfire Today told you about how on May 15, 2007, a New Jersey Air National Guard F-16 ejected a flare during a low-level pass on a training flight, starting a fire which grew to 17,000 acres. The fire destroyed four homes in two senior citizen housing developments, and damaged 37 others. Some 6,000 people were evacuated. Ocean County agencies will receive $320,000 from the Air Force as reimbursements for their costs during the fire. The Air Force has already paid nearly $2 million in private property claims and other losses, but many claims are still unsettled.

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