Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Marine jet catches fire aboard Norfolk-based USS Kearsarge during takeoff

A Marine jet aboard the USS Kearsarge caught fire after experiencing catastrophic engine failure during takeoff in the Persian Gulf, according to the Navy.

The incident occurred on the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship on March 8 while the AV-8B Harrier was applying take-off power, according to the Norfolk-based Naval Safety Center.

No injuries were reported, and the fire was extinguished by the ship's crew within minutes, according to Navy spokesman Lt. Cmdr. Tim Hawkins. He said flights aboard the Norfolk-based ship in support of Operation Inherent Resolve were able to quickly resume.

Hawkins said it wasn't immediately clear Wednesday where in the jet the fire occurred. An investigation is ongoing, he said.

A Navy report says there was at least $2 million worth of damage to the Harrier, putting it in the Navy's most serious category. 

The jet is primarily used for close-air support and attack missions. In November, Harriers aboard the Kearsarge began conducting operations in Iraq against the Islamic State after about a monthlong absence by Navy aircraft in the region.

The Kearsarge Amphibious Readiness Group deployed from Norfolk in October. The Harrier that caught fire is assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 162, which is based at Marine Corps Air Station New River in North Carolina. Marines from the squadron are part of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, which is embarked with the Kearsarge and the amphibious transport dock Arlington and amphibious dock landing ship Oak Hill.

Original article can be found here:

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