Jets fly over Portland to thank life-saving pararescuers |

PORTLAND, Ore. — Two navy fighter jets flew to Portland today to deliver a special thank you.

They appreciated the help of two Air Force Reservists stationed with the 304th Rescue Squadron. The pararescue jumpers (PJ's) helped save lives during an awful aircraft malfunction at the naval base on Whidbey Island.

On December 16, 2016, three Navy F-18 jets warmed up at the Whidbey Island naval base alongside Puget Sound.

Suddenly something went very wrong.

“During the start sequence, one of the aircraft experienced an over pressurization,” said Commander Jon Crawford.

With the pilot and weapons officer inside, the pressure built to incredible, deadly levels.

“To the point where the cockpit failed and it exploded outward,” he said.

Commander Crawford said that has never happened before to an F-18.

The two on board, members of his squadron, were badly hurt and barely alive. He's not revealing their names. 


Here's a bit more on that really bizarre cockpit overpressurization incident at NAS Whidbey back in December.

Making fun of the Air Force is fun and easy, but the PJ community is special, and having them there seems to have contributed greatly to saving the lives of two aviators.

7 responses to “Jets fly over Portland to thank life-saving pararescuers |”

  1. I’ve never heard of a cockpit overpressure, let alone one to that extent when on the deck and not at altitude. I hope the crew pulls through.


  2. Very strange accident. One I’ve never heard of happening before.
    I just wonder why the PJs were at a NAS, particularly Whidbey, at the time.
    The PJs were the group that my father respected most. The training is as daunting as anything the SEALs go through. Pilots were ay down on his list. He met to many that were just Primadonnas.


  3. SFC Dunlap 173d RVN Avatar
    SFC Dunlap 173d RVN

    The CCT & SERE communities fill out that USAF triad of elite Airmen.


  4. Air Rescue Service, standing tall, among the best.
    Paul L. Quandt


  5. Good story, but strikes me as odd. Wondering, no mobile unit, but they have an ambulances, must have been friends of the hospital staff? Lack of scene control and other related issues. I’m retired af rescueman, asst fire chief, and volly EMT.


  6. I’m confused about the medical response and med-evac too. Can’t tell if they flew to Harborview hospital in Seattle (the regional trauma center) on the Whidbey NAS SAR helo, an AF helo that the PJ’s were with, or our local non-profit Airlift Northwest’s aircraft.


  7. My understanding is that the Air Force PJs just happened to be on scene, and that the transport to Harborview was aboard the station SAR MH-60.


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