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DKO

Great Barrier Reef Hit By Four Jet Bombs

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Two American fighter jets dropped four bombs on Australia's Great Barrier Reef after a training exercise went wrong, it has emerged.

US officials said the pilots of two AV-8B Harrier jets were forced to jettison the unarmed devices on Tuesday because both aircraft were running low on fuel and could not land with the bombs on board.

The pilots intended to drop the munitions on a designated bombing range on Townshend Island but aborted the mission when controllers reported the area was not clear of hazards.

Instead, they jettisoned two bombs from each aircraft on the World Heritage-listed marine park off the coast of Queensland state.

The pilots tried to minimise the damage by releasing the devices over deep water of more than 164 feet (50 meters) and away from coral reefs, officials said.

All four bombs were inert and so did not explode. It is unclear whether any environmental damage was caused.

http://news.sky.com/story/1118492/great-barrier-reef-hit-by-four-us-jet-bombs

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hopfully they missed.

at least they tried to minimise damage by dropping them in deep water, and the fact they were dummy bombs should help, as there was only the kinetic energy instead of an explosion risk.

but they did the right thing of course, as the alternative would've been two dead pilots!

with a bit of luck, there'll just be a few startled fish instead.....

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I bet there will be a few scuba divers out there searching that area now haha.

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It's good that so much thought goes into this when it does go wrong.

4 exploded bombs over the reef would have been an issue, this not so much.

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Imagine being in the area and seeing a plane drop a couple of bombs into the ocean.

Hats off to the pilots who dumped it in deep water though.

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I am surprised. I thought for sure when I checked out this thread it was going to be America bashing 101. People are keeping it civilized. How civil.

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I am surprised. I thought for sure when I checked out this thread it was going to be America bashing 101. People are keeping it civilized. How civil.

To be honest I thought the same thing. When I copied the title over it said 'US jet bombs'. Removed that part as it was unnecessary.

The pilots had an option to drop their inert bombs or risk running out of fuel and crashing. Especially going out of their way to drop them in deep water.

Just thought this was unusual news for the reef. Nothing against the pilots. :)

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What they did was necessary, and they made a conscious decision to minimise damage to the reef. Good for them. I'm glad they made it back safe.

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To be honest I thought the same thing. When I copied the title over it said 'US jet bombs'. Removed that part as it was unnecessary.

The pilots had an option to drop their inert bombs or risk running out of fuel and crashing. Especially going out of their way to drop them in deep water.

Just thought this was unusual news for the reef. Nothing against the pilots. :)

Well IMO, the title you gave this thread implied negative things. The content not so much. :su

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Yeah, it would have been more exciting if it read "US fighter jets bomb barrier reef". The ensuing america bashing would have certainly been a splendor to behold. Instead were stuck with the boring truth. drats. I will admit though, when I read this on the news today, I about had a meltdown until I read the details. All it did was scare some fish.

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Well IMO, the title you gave this thread implied negative things. The content not so much. :su

Yes I wish I could change it now. I just copied he title over from the other page. Should have tried to fit the word inert or inactive or something.

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This just in!!!!

One of the inert bombs landed on a great white shark, killing it instantly.

Discovery Channel's Shark Week will cover more in depth.

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Lol, I just about went ballistic when I read that thread title - pardon the pun.

Glad they were able to safely dispose of the bombs, perhaps they will make some interesting "scaffolding" for new coral some day.

I also hope they learned a thing or two about carrying enough fuel or fine tuning their flight plans to allow for enough flexibility to avoid putting pilots lives at risk - this happened during a training exercise? Well, they have a thing or two to learn about "safety first" fgs.

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