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BREAKING: Navy VFC-111 F-5N Tiger II Crashed Off Key West. Pilot Rescued.

The Pilot Was Quickly Rescued By The Coast Guard In Good Shape

Official US Navy Photograph

A Navy Reserve pilot was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard at approximately 1315 local time on August 9th 2017 after ejecting from his Northrop F-5N Tiger II in the vicinity of Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West. The Fighter Squadron Composite ONE ONE ONE (VFC-111) Sundowners pilot was reported to be uninjured but was taken to Lower Keys Medical Center in Key West for evaluation. A United States Coast Guard MH-65 Dauphin executed the rescue of the pilot, who has not yet been identified.

Official US Coast Guard Photograph

VFC-111 flies the F-5N as the primary component of the Navy Reserve’s fleet adversary program out of NAS Key West. They also operate detachments out of other bases periodically. Regular Navy fleet squadrons regularly deploy to NAS Key West to practice air combat maneuvering (ACM) during workups prior to deployments aboard aircraft carriers.

Official US Navy Photograph

The crash of the Sundowners jet was first reported at approximately 1238 local time. The Coast Guard also sent an EADS HC-144 Ocean Sentry search and rescue surveillance aircraft to the search area, centered roughly 20 miles southeast of Key West, in order to assist with locating the pilot. The crash was first reported by United States Naval Institute. Here’s a video of VFC-111 shot at an airshow at NAS Key West. Thanks to YouTuber SD co0rch for uploading the clip.

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Written by Bill Walton

Bill Walton

Bill Walton is a life-long aviation enthusiast and expert in aircraft recognition. As a teenager Bill helped his engineer father build an award-winning T-18 homebuilt airplane in their Wisconsin basement. Bill is a freelance writer, an avid sailor, engineer, announcer, husband, father, uncle, mentor, coach, and Navy veteran. Bill lives north of Houston TX with his wife and son under the approach path to KDWH runway 17R, which means they get to look up at a lot of airplanes. A very good thing.

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