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Navy Rescues Pilot Ejected from Jet Off San Diego Coast

A MK-58 Hawker Hunter prepares to take off aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort June 27, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Lance Cpl. Ashley Phillips)
A MK-58 Hawker Hunter prepares to take off aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort June 27, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps photo/Lance Cpl. Ashley Phillips)

A Navy helicopter crew rescued a civilian pilot ejected from a contracted fighter jet off the coast near Point Loma Tuesday, Navy and Coast Guard officials said.

The pilot ejected safely from the single-seat Hawker Hunter jet, for unknown reasons, roughly 115 miles off the coast, Navy officials said. No information about the pilot's condition was available.

The Navy-contracted plane had participated in a pre-deployment training exercise for the ships of the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group, Navy officials said. The Composite Training Unit Exercise, which tests the strike group's deployment readiness, began earlier this month, according to the Navy.

The Coast Guard was summoned about 4:30 p.m. to assist in the pilot's rescue, but a helicopter crew assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6 aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt hoisted the pilot out of the ocean before a Coast Guard helicopter crew responded, officials said.

The pilot was taken to Naval Medical Center San Diego for a medical evaluation.

In the past, Hawker Hunter jets have been contracted by the Navy to play the role of an enemy aircraft in offshore training.

In two instances, in October 2014 and May 2012, the pilots who assisted in the training exercises crashed in a field near Naval Station Ventura County as they prepared to land. Both pilots died.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.

--This article is written by David Hernandez from The San Diego Union-Tribune and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

Related Topics

Navy Coast Guard

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