The cause of the fiery Dec. 8 crash is still being investigated. Military officials have depicted a chain of events in which first one engine failed on the F/A18D Hornet — and then the second quit while the pilot was attempting to reach a landing spot.
It could turn out to be "a one-in-1 million occurrence," Joe Kasper, a spokesman for Rep. Duncan Hunter, the ranking Republican on the House Armed Services Committee, said Thursday.
However, the rarity of the double engine failure hasn't dampened speculation that the deaths of four members of one family might have been averted. The pilot ejected safely.
Marine generals have defended the choice to send the Hornet to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, taking it over the University City neighborhood where the crash incinerated two homes, damaged three others and killed four members of one family.