Navy Pilot Recovered After Fighter Crashes Off Florida

F-5N Tiger IIs fly in formation. (Navy Photo)
Military.com |

A Navy pilot was picked up by a Coast Guard helicopter after ejecting from his F-5N Tiger II light fighter aircraft southeast of Naval Air Station Key West, Florida, officials with Naval Air Forces Reserve said Wednesday.

The incident took place around 12:38 p.m., according to an announcement. The pilot had been conducting training operations off the Florida coast and ejected about 20 nautical miles from the air station. The aircraft subsequently crashed into the ocean.

The pilot, who is assigned to Fighter Squadron Composite 111, a reserve adversary squadron known as the Sundowners, was reported to have been rescued with no significant injuries.

The Coast Guard helicopter picked him up around 1:15 p.m., about 30 minutes after the crash.

After his rescue, the pilot was taken to Lower Keys Medical Center for evaluation.

It's not clear what prompted the pilot to eject. Officials said an investigation into the incident has been launched.

The F-5N Tiger II is used by both the Marine Corps and the Navy as an adversary trainer. They are used to simulate opposing force aircraft in military war games and other training exercises.

VFC-11 operates 17 of the aircraft.

-- Hope Hodge Seck can be reached at hope.seck@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @HopeSeck.