Super Hornets and Growlers resume flight operations

NAS Patuxent River, MD- It’s business as usual for EA-18G Growlers and F/A-18 E/F Super Hornet commands at Naval Air Station Patuxent River after they were grounded Dec. 16.

A U.S. Navy Growler assigned to Electronic Attack Squadron (VAQ) 132 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island experienced an on-deck emergency on Friday. Both the pilot and the Electronics Warfare Officer were injured and the aircraft was damaged. Both were admitted to the hospital. No word on their condition.

The ground emergency involved the jet’s canopy. After the incident, Naval Air Forces temporarily suspended flight operations for all Super Hornets and Growlers as a safety precaution because they share common aircraft systems.

Naval Air Forces ordered Growler and Super Hornets squadrons to resume normal flight operations on Monday, Dec. 19. The operational pause allowed Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) and Boeing Engineers time to investigate the mishap.

The grounding had little to no impact at NAS Patuxent River. The inspections specific to the shutdown were completed quickly with no impact to operations on base.

Contact Joy Shrum at

An F/A-18F Super Hornet from the Black Knights of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 154 flies over the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz (CVN 68). Nimitz is underway conducting routine training operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman David Claypool/Released)


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