USMC FA18D Henk Zuurbier 640Just a Nice Picture

While visiting the Saylor Creek Range (ID), Henk Zuurbier spotted this F/A-18D near the main gate. Further investigation showed that this is F/A-18D 164876/WK-07 of VMFA(AW)-224 Fighting Bengals.

In April/May of 2019, VMFA(AW)-224, normally based at MCAS Beaufort (SC), was on a two week-deployment at Mountain Home AFB (ID).

On 3 May 2019, F/A-18D 164876 went out for a functional check flight when its flight crew encountered an in flight emergency.

After safely landing at Mountain Home the ground crew noticed a fire in the engine bay. Luckily the fire was contained and the crew escaped the aircraft without injury.

After further investigation it was determined that the Hornet was damaged beyond repair. The aircraft was completely stripped and its remains were transported to the local Saylor Creek Range, where it resides to this day.

F/A-18D 164876 was one of only twelve USMC Hornets equipped with the Advanced Tactical Airborne Reconnaissance System (ATARS) system.

Photo: Henk Zuurbier

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