Kandice Angel / The Associated Press

Seven people were injured after a US Navy F/A-18D fighter jet crashed onto an apartment complex in Virginia Beach at about 12:05pm on Friday. Among the two injured were the aircraft’s pilot and its flight officer who had ejected reportedly after dumping fuel from the ailing aircraft in anticipation of a crash. Of the seven people injured even only one of the pilot was reported to have remained in the hospital overnight. A total of 63 residents of the Mayfair Mews complex had been found unharmed after some 40 apartments were damaged by the crash ensuing fire. The aircraft had apparently been airborne briefly after taking off from nearby Naval Air Station Oceana, Virginia. The base is home to Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (VFA-106) ‘Gladiators’, a unit serving as the East Coast Fleet Replacement Squadron training for F/A-18 Hornet and Super Hornet air crews. There, naval aviators and first officers participate in 9 months duration air-to-air and air-to-ground training operations prior to applying for aircraft carrier qualifications. NAS Oceana is only distant from the larger Norfolk Naval Station by a few miles.

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