A Marine Corps Harrier jet crashed into the Atlantic Ocean late Friday afternoon. The jet pilot was rescued off the coast of North Carolina. He ejected from the aircraft during a training exercise. Authorities said the jet went down in flames.
The crash was first reported around 4:45 p.m. near the 1700 block of North Lumina Avenue. Adam Sansoucie, Coast Guard Petty Officer 1st Class says a hotel guest in Wrightsville Beach saw the jet going down and burning, and a person ejecting from it shortly before 5 p.m.
Wrightsville Beach Police Chief Daniel House said the jet had departed the Wilmington International Airport and was conducting flight training. The pilot had the intention of returning to the airport. The Harrier jet eventually crashed into the water.
Two Coast Guard rescuers, Jeremy Owens, Captain of Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue, and Kyle Miess, a firefighter, EMT and Ocean Rescue Guard, were first on the scene. Both rescue guards were not supposed to be working. Miess was off duty, and Owens was supposed to be getting off work, but when it was confirmed that a plane crashed, they took a jet and raced to the crash site, which was about two miles offshore.
Harrier down, but pilot is safe. Thank goodness.
They don't call it the "widow-maker" for nothin'. https://t.co/FhbkMDUpMZ
— John Q Public (@Public_J_Q) May 7, 2016
They found that the pilot was able to get into a life raft after ejecting off from the plane. The pilot inflated the personal flotation device and was also able to board it and wait until pick up, 1st Lt. Maida Zheng, a Marine spokeswoman, said in an email.
The rescue team found the pilot miraculously fine. He did not have bruises or cuts and was able to hold a conversation with his rescuers. He only seemed to be cold, according to Miess. A military helicopter arrived to take the pilot to the hospital. He was taken by an H-60 Seahawk at 5:28 p.m.
Source: Fox News