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Marine Corps F/A-18D fighter jet makes emergency landing after engine bay catches fire

On May 3 a Marine F/A-18 Hornet was forced to make an emergency landing due to an engine bay fire, according to military officials.

The 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing aircraft landed at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, where ground crews observed smoke and fire coming from the Hornet, according to 1st Lt. Sam Stephenson, a spokesman with 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing. The crew and aircraft are both based in Beaufort, South Carolina.

The flight crew was alerted to an issue with the aircraft after observing in-flight warnings during a routine function check flight, Stephenson said.

They "immediately climbed out of the aircraft after safely landing” and no one was injured as a result of the incident, he said.

The incident was listed as a Class A mishap, which is defined by the Navy as $2 million or more in damages, or a fatality or permanent disability from an accident.

The Pentagon has been weighing changing how major mishaps are categorized.

An F-35C Lightning II performs a touch-and-go on the flight deck of the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson. The Pentagon is considering revisions to how it classifies aviation mishaps across the services. (MC3 Ethan Soto/Navy)
DoD is rethinking what defines a major aviation accident

The Pentagon is considering revisions to the dollar amounts and damage levels that qualify an aircraft accident as a major mishap to better reflect the expense of repairing advanced jets.

The Marine Corps does joint training with the Air Force at the Mountain Home Air Force Base, which familiarizes crews and pilots with operating aircraft in cold-weather environments.

The Hornet fire is the latest Marine aviation mishap since an AH-1Z Viper struck the ground in March in a nighttime training incident aboard the Yuma, Arizona, air base, killing two Marines.

The Hornet engine bay fire incident is currently under investigation, according to Stephenson.

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