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October 9, 1981



The Navy's F/A-18 Hornet fighter has made its first kill, according to Rep. Bruce Vento (D) of Minnesota. "Unfortunately," he says, "it downed one of our own planes."

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Vento claims that on Sept. 30, over the Chesapeake Bay, an F/A-18 accidentally dropped its bomb rack onto a TA-4 Skyhawk that was filming it, shearing off the latter's wing and forcing its pilot and cameraman to bail out. They Navy, admitting the crash, insists that the F/A-18 intentionally jettisoned its bomb rack during an exercise.

"Nonsense," replies a spokesman for Vento. Adds the congressman: "With planes like the F/A-18 defending us, who needs enemies?"m