Virginia Beach, Virginia, will remain to be a Navy town, even after the mishap involving a Navy fighter jet, which left several people homeless.
An F/A-18D Hornet leveled dozens of apartment units when it crashed into the Mayfair Mews apartment complex. Miraculously, no one died as a result of the accident. Both pilots were able to eject before impact and survived. Officials have revealed that the jet suffered a massive mechanical malfunction soon after takeoff from Naval Air Station Oceana.
Marc Davis, spokesman for the city of Virginia Beach, said: “They’re a huge part of the community. They’re everywhere… They’re our friends, they’re our neighbors, they’re our Little League coaches, their children go to Virginia Beach public schools. Navy wives and husbands are in the community doing volunteer work. … There’s no such thing as a ‘them and us.’”
There are residents who commented that they are well aware of the possibility that such an accident may occur. It is not uncommon to hear and see jets zoom overhead on training missions, sometimes near densely-populated neighborhoods.
Among those who lost a home was 55-year-old Jeff Swoope. He was pulling out of his parking space on Friday when he saw the low-flying jet, and drove away as fast as he could. He and about two dozen other residents sought shelter at a hotel provided by the Red Cross.
Despite that, he said he does not hold a grudge against the military, describing them as a good neighbor: “I moved there after the base was there… If jets really bother you, you don’t have to live there.”