What you get when you mix 2 F-18's and 15 million Euros

What does 3 1/2 years, 100,000 man hours, and 15 million Euros have in common. They are all part of the photo of a smudge in the forest!!!

Both crew survived the high speed ejection with serious injuries.

The Finnish Air Force had a mid-air collision with two F-18C single seater’s back in 2001, 1 aircraft was destroyed, the other, tail number HN-413’s front end was twisted and beyond repair.

The back half was fine, so the Finnish Govt. looked for a similar aircraft with tail end damage. One was not found, but they found a two seater F-18B that the Canadian Armed Forces wrote off - but retained the front end.

Canadian Armed Forces CF-188B tail number 188920

HN-413 which last flew on Nov 8 2001, was ‘mated’ and re-registered HN-468 - and flew again on Dec 3 2009.

Finnish F-18D tail number HN-468 ex F-18B 188920 and F-18C HN-413

The accident occurred on HN-468’s 3rd flight on Jan 21 2010.

The Finnish company that performed the work was Patria - and the aircraft departed from Patria’s Halli Airport in Finland.

The story, as what is publicly known as of now:

“Frankenhornet” (HN-468) left Patria’s Halli airfield for a test flight to investigate aircraft behavior in “abnormal” flight modes followed by
an F/A-18C chase plane. The crew was a very experienced test pilot (Captain) and a flight test-engineer (Lt.Col.) with thousands of flight hours on them.

The final planned manoeuvre of the flight was to climb vertically to about 33000 ft, throttle the engines back and recover from the resulting tail slide.

As the nose dropped, the plane entered into a vertical dive. When the plane was at approximately 7000 m. (~23000 ft.) in vertical dive, the chase plane pilot radioed: “Do you have control?”, to which the HN-468 pilot replied “Negative, Negative”.

When the HN-468 was at an altitude of about 4500 m. (15000 ft.) in high speed vertical dive, the chase plane pilot commanded “Eject! Eject!”, at which point the pilot and test-engineer ejected at an estimated speed of over 500 kt.

In the violent ejection, both crrew suffered broken limbs (not just bruises), as the M/B ejection seat installed in F/A-18D does not have arm restraints. In addition, one of the crew lost his helmet in the ejection and suffered severe facial trauma.

The plane crashed on a rocky piece of land, next to a farm field and disintegrated into very small fragments. The crew landed in a very thick forest, and even when they were located almost immediately after the crash, it took more than an hour to recover them in -22 C temperature. After recovery they were immediately transported to a hospital by a medevac helicopter, and surgically operated on thursday evening.

So, while the crew is “safe”, they are not exactly quite “sound”, but they’re expected to survive and fully recover, which is the most important thing.

Obviously, there’s a lot of speculation going on about possible causes to the loss of control, but I won’t go into those…

The crash site is still being guarded by the military, citing danger of inhaling carbon-fibre fragments at the site, pretty much for the same
reason as when USN F/A-18 crashed at the approach of Miramar, San Diego last summer.

I’m calling BS on this one.

Where to begin;

Military Blog;

militaryphotos.net/forums/ar … 80275.html

Finnish News;

yle.fi/uutiset/news/2010/01/ … 84722.html

Patria press release;

patria.fi/patria_www_en_sisa … ornet.html

and FlightGlobal;

flightglobal.com/blogs/the-d … et-cr.html

No problem.

I dunno, but here is another source.

aviationnews.eu/2010/01/22/f … in-forest/

Canadian Armed Fores CF-188A tail number 188761

This aircraft has been ejected from twice!!!, first time it took six years to get it back in the air - the fuselage is a F-18A, its wings came from an F-18A in Australia, and its nose is from a Spanish F-18C.

The aircraft aborted take-off at a UK airbase, the pilot ejected safely, and the aircraft was broken into two pieces!! The repairs were done by MBB in Maching Germany.

In June 2004 the pilot ejected while the aircraft was still on the runway in Yellowknife NWT, the aircraft rolled off the end of the runway with minimal damage - and was repaired and put back in service.

The “thing” is like a Datsun…you can’t kill it!