right now

right now

Apr 6, 2012

We are OK!

My phone is dead and I know I've had a few voicemails, so this will have to suffice for now...


You may have heard about our jet crash at 12:15 today, I know it's national news now.  We are ok.  Terrified for sure for a few moments, but ok.  It was close, but not close enough to affect us.  A little less than half a mile from our house, it's a fear we push to the back of our minds because if we didn't we could never live here.  The really sad news is that the jet went down into the middle of an apartment complex.  The area is so built up there I have the feeling the news will be terrible.  We happened to be on the road near the site on our way home when it happened, the ground shook like an earthquake and then explosions and dark smoke from the jet fuel.  I have lived here long enough to see this happen 3 times now, but the other two were ditched in an unpopulated area right near the airfield (even closer actually with fuselage on our street!), this one is horrifying because of where it went down.  Of course my phone was almost dead in the car and from where we were stuck in traffic it looked like the smoke was coming straight from the apt complex where a friend of mine lives, and I knew she would be home with her baby.  I texted her and prayed like I never have before I think and within a few minutes she called me - it was the complex right across the street from her, only about 50 yards or so but she was safe!!!  That's when I went from sheer panic to crying, which probably spooked the boys in the back seat who didn't realize that I was worried about anyone other than the pilots - ah, to be that young and have your parents do all your worrying for you!


Here's some photos:


that's the tail end of the F-18, it did not land in the parking lot as you might gather from the photo, there was an apartment block under it that completely disintegrated, and the front half of the jet is also disintegrated



This is what we were greeted with as we made our way to our exit...


plumes of smoke this color over our house area is never a good thing to see, since it indicates JP-5 (jet fuel) and we are right in crash zone 1, there was about an hour of tense gridlock while the freeways were shut down


an aerial photo of the complex shows how bad it was, looks actually like several buildings now that the flames have been put out


you can see how populated this area is in these photo:




The pilots are from hubby's old squadron, he wouldn't tell me over the phone who it was but I can say VFA-106 now since it's already all over the news.  This is a training squadron, where pilots come to learn the F/A-18 after they have already completed flight school and have earned their wings.  This squadron is where they go to learn how to actually land and take off on aircraft carriers.  No word on the whys or hows of the accident, although it does appear from their angle that they tried a last second effort to avoid the populated area, something that is foremost in every pilot's mind.  As of right now we are hearing that both pilots ejected, both have been recovered but we don't know anymore about where they are or their condition.  Right now everyone is focused on anyone in those apartments, and prayers are needed!  Authorities are just now being able to go door to door in the apartment area since the flames were too much earlier.  I'm worried about hubby when he gets home tonight, if he comes home... I have a feeling this will be a long day for him.  As a jet mechanic and a supervisor, he will be lost in his own head today I think, even though he had no hands on this particular aircraft, you can imagine how that might be if that was your profession.  Well, I'm off to listen to more news and try and find out if hubby will be home for dinner or not.  It's eerily quiet out there now without the constant scream of jets, air operations have obviously been shut down for the day, all we hear and see is the helicopters now.  What an emotionally exhausting day so far...


23 comments:

  1. OMG! How horrifying. I hope that there weren't many people in those buildings. I'm glad to hear you and your family are safe Erin.

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  2. Glad you and yours are ok!!

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  3. Thanking the powers that be that you all are okay. This must be devastating to you and all the military families that are such an integral part of your world. Our love and hugs to you and our prayers to the families of those who were injured and those who lost their lives.

    Thanks for the post, Erin.

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  4. Here's praying everyone in complex was at work or out shopping, so glad you and your family are ok as well as your friend. Can't blame her if she is looking for a place to move too. Take care ..........

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  5. My prayers are already out there, and I am VERY glad to hear that you and your family are OK. My neighborhood is in the take-off-and-land path of a community airport, and since we've lived here three little planes have crashed nearby - one into a house, one into a front yard, and one into our neighborhood's park. It's not the same scale as the disaster near you, but it's always a heartbreak.

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  6. How awful. Thank you for the update and information. How terrifying. Hoping for the best and another HUGE reminder of being thankful for a boring afternoon.

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  7. Oh my... I am so glad you guys are safe and sound and weren't hurt. My heart goes out to everybody involved in this tragedy and I hope most of the people living in the apartment weren't home.

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  8. I heard about this over lunch and thought of you. So glad you and yours are OK but my heart goes out to all those who may not be. Scary stuff.

    Judy

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  9. So far NO casualties and only 7 injuries, amazing news! Finn's elementary school is going to be the shelter for all the people left homeless, and I'm sure the Navy will step up and probably make good use of all the oceanfront hotel rooms that are vacant since its not summer yet! I think I heard its a couple hundred that can't go home tonight .

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  10. Oh MY! I quit watching the news so I just turned in on now that I read your post. So glad your ok and the pilots made it out ok. I am sending good thought for all of those on the ground.

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  11. I came to the computer as soon as I hit home to make sure you were och,I'm so glad you are able to report to us,prayers for the victims are being sent but just so relieved your alright and your family.Too scary for sure

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  12. Last I heared, everyone is expected to survive. Great News!

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  13. My first thought, when I saw it on the news, was that I hoped it wasn't anywhere near your house. I knew it didn't hit you, as it was an apartment house, but I worried about how would affect the boys, and was hoping and praying none of their friends were involved. It is a miracle that there were no deaths or serious injuries.

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  14. So glad you guys are ok! I hadn't even heard about this yet today!

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  15. Thought of you when I heard it and just now got to the computer to get on the blog and check. Keeping everyone there in our thoughts!

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  16. Thank you so much for letting us know you all are okay. I am praying that there were no deaths and hoping for the best.

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  17. Glad you are ok and thank you for the updates.
    Lisa

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  18. I watched the news for several minutes not knowing where it was, but as soon as they mentioned Virginia Beach, I immediately thought of you and your family. So glad to hear you are OK. My thoughts and prayers go out to all involved, and it is a miracle that no one was killed - God Bless. My heart goes out to the pilots, even though they did the very best that they could; and the apology of the one to a woman, saying he was sorry he destroyed her home almost sent me into tears!
    Blessed Be
    Yvette

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  19. I though of you when I heard, but I knew you were not in an apartment complex, but I wasn't even thinking you could have been visiting one. So happy to hear you are all well!!

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  20. Is you friend able to stay in her apartment? Wondering if it sustained any damage or is near chemical spills, gas leaks etc....

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  21. just read about this, could not believe it was your place, and now to see it was sooo close - girl you sure do have interesting terrifying things happen around you, much more than the average bear for sure - glad to see this post and that you are ok - sending wishes of peace - ruth

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  22. I'm so glad to hear that you're ok...prayers being sent for everyone involved...

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  23. I had thought of you all. . . it's so sad and so scary. As you said, it's part of life's dangers there, but still.

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