Saturday, October 15, 2005

Navy Jet Crashes Off Key West

A Navy jet crashed Friday off the Florida Keys and its pilot was rescued after ejecting from the plane, according to the Coast Guard.
The F/A-18C Hornet aircraft went down 36 miles southwest of Key West about 8:30 a.m., the Navy said. The only pilot aboard was found alive a short time later and was hoisted out of the water by a Navy HH-60 helicopter. A Navy spokesman in Washington said the plane was attached to a squadron based in the Norfolk, Va., area that is the Navy's main training base for attack aircraft. Coast Guard spokesman Gretchen Eddy said the Coast Guard was notified by another F/A-18 pilot about the crash and responded with helicopters, rescue boats and a cutter.
The pilot's identity and condition were not immediately released. The plane is part of the "Gladiators" squadron based at the Oceana Naval Air Station in Virginia, which routinely conducts training missions out of Key West, the Navy said in a statement. The pilot was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he will undergo extensive medical examinations. A naval flight surgeon will also be meeting the pilot to do a variety of medical tests.
Pilot arrives at hospital

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