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.
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.
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.