Navy Pilot Rescued Off Florida Coast After Ejecting From F-5 Aircraft

  • A Navy pilot had to be rescued from Florida waters after ejecting from an F-5 aircraft.
  • Naval officials said Wednesday the pilot was part of the Fighter Squadron Composite VFC-111.
  • Local media captured video of what appeared to be the pilot walking off the rescue helicopter.

A US Navy pilot required rescue after ejecting from a plane over Florida waters this week during a training exercise.

Naval officials confirmed that a pilot assigned to Naval Air Station Key West was picked up in the waters off Key West on Wednesday morning.

The pilot was part of the elite Fighter Squadron Composite VFC-111, also known as “Sun Downers,” military officials said in a Wednesday statement. 


The aircraft, which was an F-5N plane, originally launched from Naval Air Station Key West. The pilot ejected approximately 25 miles from Boca Chica Field at about 9:20 a.m. local time on Wednesday, authorities said. 

The Navy had to rescue the pilot from the water using an MH-60S search and rescue helicopter, the station said. 

Local media station WPLG captured video of the pilot walking off the helicopter onto a local hospital’s helipad after being transported to the medical site following the incident. 

Naval authorities said they would investigate the cause of the incident.

The area has been the site of at least two other aircraft mishaps in recent years, according to WPLG. 

The Coast Guard had to rescue a pilot in 2018 who also ejected from an F-5N aircraft, and that same year, two Navy aviators died in a training exercise after their jet crashed near the Naval station, according to the outlet.

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