In an astonishing display of black smoke and engulfing flames, a military jet bounced off the runway at Southern California Naval Base and proceeded to burst into flames on the runway. The Boeing 707, loaded with jet fuel, contained just three crew members who unbelievably escaped the aircraft with only minor injuries.
Around 5:30pm yesterday evening, the aircraft took off from Naval Base Ventura County Point Nagu as scheduled, but suddenly came to a skidding halt at the end of the runway. Facing the Pacific Ocean, the tanker was immediately engulfed in an opaque sheath of black smoke signaling all nearby areas that something was amiss. Air station spokesperson Teri Reid did not comment on how the civilian crew was able to escape the blaze uninjured, but identified the plane as one belonging to Virginia-based Omega Aerial Refueling Services; a corporation contracting with the U.S. military to provide fuel transport.
The fire raged on for nearly three hours following the eruption despite multiple attempts by nearby fire helicopters charged with dumping gallons of water on the fires. Federal investigators have been called to the scene to investigate the cause of the crash, which took place roughly 40 miles north of Los Angeles.
Thirteen nearby emergency units were called to the scene to douse the fire. Nearly 150,000 pounds of fuel were being transported by the aircraft, all of which is presumed lost in the blaze. The mix of smoke and jet fuel was so toxic that nearby residents were told to remain in their homes for the evening to avoid inhalation of the fumes.
While certainly an extreme example, aviation accidents are all-too-common in today’s society with thousands of flights taking off daily. The largest jumbo jets are cross paths with small two-engine air craft while air traffic controllers are found to be sleeping on the job. As far as aircraft liability is concerned, the sky’s the limit and accidents are happening more and more often.
Personal injury law is geared towards more than just car accidents as surviving family members are often left to pick up the pieces after their loved ones’ tragic demise at the hands of an experienced or thrill-seeking pilot. Many times, people decide to pursue a pilot’s license and purchase small planes, taking up flying as a hobby. Pilot inexperience has lead to countless accidents across the nation, particularly in California. Hobby pilots tend to take greater risks with the weather reports and often take off in “iffy” weather where an experienced career pilot would not advise such thrill-seeking behavior.
If you or someone you love has been injured or killed in an aircraft injury, we would love to talk with you and hear the details of your story. Wrongful death actions are available for loved ones left behind after tragedy strikes. Feel free to contact us at any time via email, phone call or in person. We would love to hear from you.