Pilot ejects 80 miles off the coast of Point Loma

Posted at 5:46 PM, Aug 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-23 02:28:00-04

POINT LOMA, Calif. (KGTV) - The U.S. Navy rescued a pilot 80 miles off the coast of Point Loma Tuesday.

The civilian pilot ejected safely from their aircraft around 4:30 p.m., according to U.S. Coast Guard Sector San Diego. The U.S. Navy called Coast Guard to assist, but later called them off and handled the rescue.

The pilot was in a contracted Hawker Hunter aircraft, a 1960s-era fighter jet. They were the only person in the aircraft.

An HSC-6 helicopter aboard the USS Theodore Roosevelt was able to recover the pilot. The USS Theodore Roosevelt is based at Naval Base Coronado.

It's not yet known what caused the pilot to eject.

No word was given on the condition of the pilot. They were transported to Navy Medical Center San Diego, according to the US Navy.

The US Navy said the aircraft was providing support to the Composite Training Unit Exercise, a training event that tests a carrier strike group's readiness for deployment.

The contractor company behind the aircraft, ATAC, a contractor with US Navy that provides training exercise services with Navy, told 10News the pilot is a former FA-18 pilot in his late 30s to early 40s from Ventura County. The name of the pilot was not given.

The aircraft took off from Naval Base Ventura County, according to ATAC. The company was not sure what led to the pilot ejecting and said while these types of incidents have happened in the past, they don't occur at a higher rate than the risk.

ATAC said the aircraft will only be recovered if data is needed for an investigation.