U.S. Marines caused multiple errors in a December 8, 2008 crash of F/A-18D Hornet into a residential neighborhood in University City that killed 36-year-old Young Mi Moon; her daughters, 15-month-old Grace and 2-month-old Rachel; and her mother Suk Im Kim, 60. According to this Associated Press news report the Marines apparently knew five months before this military jet crash that the aircraft may have problems with the fuel delivery from tanks to its engine. This ignored warning and subsequent bad decisions caused the terrible tragedy.
According to an internal investigation, low oil pressure killed the first engine shortly after takeoff. The jet crashed with about 340 gallons of fuel causing a fiery explosion that burned two homes and came frighteningly close to a high school. Although the Marines received this warning about the defective aircraft months before the catastrophic crash, maintenance personnel became complacent after a series of flights that were successful even after the warning, the investigation found.
Military investigators have placed the blame on officers at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar for clearing the pilot, Lt. Dan Neubauer, to land at the inland base instead of the closest landing at a coastal Navy base, a route that would have avoided flying over homes. The pilot, Neubauer, has also been criticized for neglecting to consult a checklist of emergency procedures and “failing to grasp the severity of his problems.” This investigation ended with disciplinary action against 13 members of the U.S. Marines and Navy for a series of missteps that led to the crash, including four officers who were relieved of their duties. Investigators, however, found no proof of criminal wrongdoing.