This one may rub a few people the wrong way, but it's not like that's anything new for me so I'm good with that. More importantly, I could be jumping the gun a bit on the accusations and assumptions that I'm about to spew, but guess what? Yep, been down that road before too and not really too concerned about that either.
The news of a jet fighter crashing didn't come as a that big of a surprise. You have to figure with all of the military cutbacks they probably don't build them like they used to. Maybe there are a few shortcuts taken that cause a few more jets than usual to have engine problems. Therefore, more of them are going to be taking dives, but what that means is the government needs to be more selective about where they are flying them.
This F-18 was trying to land at Marine Corp Air Station Miramar when the issues started. The pilot was coming up on a residential neighborhood and witnesses saw him bail out. That left the plane unattended to go wherever it was last directed. In this case, right into a home that killed a grandmother, mother and a young child.
I haven't been in the military for some time, but I distinctly remember one of their big things when flying jets was to avoid civilian casualties at all costs. That means two things: first off, that pilot should have done more to make sure that the plane was as far away from that neighborhood as possible. If there was any possibility to control the plane's trajectory even just a little bit, he should have done everything he could to do it. Even if it meant costing him his own life.
That brings me to my second point. It may just be me but I was a little disturbed when I heard this pilot ejected to leave the jet to its own faculties. A captain is supposed to go down with his ship. I understand that is a little extreme; however, given this circumstance, is it really? If there was any possibility that he could have turned that jet into the ground, the side of a mountain or anything and only his life was taken instead of three civilians, that's what he should have done. Afterall, he signed up to protect those people.
Now I know some folks are thinking "your cruel, heartless, SOB...how could you say that he should have killed himself?!" Sorry. I just think better him than three innocent folks. Would I have done that if it was me in that situation? HECK no. But I'm selfish and we're not talking about me.
I used to live by an airport growing up and situations just like this crossed my mind constantly. It was very cool to watch the then A-7 jets fly overhead as they did their maneuvers from the Des Moines Air National Guard base. However, I also knew just one wrong turn and that's all she wrote. I wonder how many folks in that neighborhood are now starting to re-think their real estate choices.