There’s really not much I can add to this:

A Korean immigrant who lost his wife, two children and mother-in-law when a Marine Corps jet slammed into the family’s house said Tuesday he did not blame the pilot, who ejected and survived.

“Please pray for him not to suffer from this accident,” a distraught Dong Yun Yoon told reporters gathered near the site of Monday’s crash of an F/A-18D jet in San Diego’s University City community.

“He is one of our treasures for the country,” Yoon said in accented English punctuated by long pauses while he tried to maintain his composure.

“I don’t blame him. I don’t have any hard feelings. I know he did everything he could,” said Yoon, flanked by members of San Diego’s Korean community, relatives and members from the family’s church.

I can’t imagine what either of these men must be going through.

Some are having the opposite reaction:

I haven’t been in the military for some time, but I distinctly remember one of their big things when flying jets was to avoid civilian casualties at all costs. That means two things: first off, that pilot should have done more to make sure that the plane was as far away from that neighborhood as possible. If there was any possibility to control the plane’s trajectory even just a little bit, he should have done everything he could to do it. Even if it meant costing him his own life.

That brings me to my second point. It may just be me but I was a little disturbed when I heard this pilot ejected to leave the jet to its own faculties. A captain is supposed to go down with his ship. I understand that is a little extreme; however, given this circumstance, is it really? If there was any possibility that he could have turned that jet into the ground, the side of a mountain or anything and only his life was taken instead of three civilians, that’s what he should have done. Afterall, he signed up to protect those people.

This is a bit harsh for me. Count me in the group that assumes the pilot did everything in his power to avoid civilian casualties. There will be a thorough investigation, and the details that emerge may change my opinion, but that remains to be seen.


  1. Claire

    As ex-air force personnel who has lost before, I still cannot imagine the devastation felt by the family and pilot at this time. I am gratified that the individual most effected has been so magnanimous in his response; I feel sorry for the pilot as I am sure that he did absolutely everything in his power to avoid this tragedy. Unhappily, there are no absolutes or perfect solutions; my best wishes to those affected and hope that they continue to place no blame or anger. It is incredibly sad though. Peace to those lost….

  2. Eddie Hager

    I feel sorry for this man and his family. He will be in our prayers.
    The ejection seat information appears incorrect. The normal egress process of an ejection will have the canopy be removed from the aircraft by a explosive charge. The seat computer will then tighten the seat restraining harness, the will be be propelled up the seat rail until it a certain point when the seat the rocket packs ignite to complete the departure from the aircraft. I am not aware of any ejection seat that is designed to force you through the canopy. The canopy is designed to be very strong and survive strkes (ie birds)hitting it and still protect the pilot.

  3. Nathan

    The statement from Duncan Hunter’s office (as reported by CNN) could certainly have been better. The people who were lost and the people who suffered these losses have names, And there was no need to worry about explaining or justifying–the graciousness and magnanimity of Dong Yun Yoon made that unnecessary. I believe that I’ll follow his lead, and pray for the pilot. And I believe I’ll slip in a little prayer for Mr. Hunter, too.

  4. Craig

    In case anyone is interested in helping Don Yoon (the father of the family involved in the F18 tragedy a few days ago), here is the contact information as provided to me by his pastor this morning:

    Korean United Methodist Church
    c/o Don Yoon
    3520 Mount Acadia Blvd
    San Diego, CA 92111

  5. Michelle

    Shouldn’t there be a law suit or some sort of monetary compensation for the family left to deal with such a tragic loss? I can’t imagine losing all of your precious family members in one day. I don’t how this man will go on and pick the pieces that are left behind.

  6. Peter

    I do not blame the pilot. There is nothing that he could’ve done to avoid this accident. However, I am very upset that the Marines at Miramar Base did not send people over immediately to help the victim (See MSN slide shows)…etc. After all, it was their plane that went down and killed a 2 month old, an 18 months old children and 2 women! The only people that I saw in the photos are civilians, firefighters and the pilot. Come on!! Our tax dollars should go more toward the firefighters, not the military!!

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  8. Orion

    The Monday Morning quarterbacks should be aware that a full and comprehensive accident board will review the crash and determine what if any blame should be applied to the pilot. Taking cues from ABC afterschool specials or Hollywood movies is probably not useful in understanding what happens in a real world situation.

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