A pair of Super Hornets collided in mid-air while training over waters about 25 miles from North Carolina’s Oregon Inlet. The incident was reported to the Coast Guard around 10:30AM local time and not long after a Coast Guard MH-60T Jayhawk plucked two of the crew from the water and took them to the hospital. A nearby commercial fishing vessel, the Jamie, grabbed the other two officers who were floating in the Atlantic.
A Jayhawk then went to pick up the aircrew from the fishing boat and ferried them to the hospital as well. Both aircrews were seen being dropped off at North Sentara General Hospital in Norfolk, Virginia and appeared to be in good condition.
A spokesman for the Coast Guard told local NBC affiliate WCNC that all four crew were in high spirits and that “it was a textbook rescue. We are so happy we can bring these Navy service members back to their families.”
The foxtrot model Super Hornets belonged to VFA-211 “Checkmates.” The squadron is based at the Navy’s master fighter jet base, Naval Air Station Oceana, located in Norfolk, Virginia.
It is never good losing a $65 million dollar jet, especially two of them at the same time. Considering the Navy’s looming fighter gap, it will only make the situation worse. But the fact that both crews got out seemingly unscathed is obviously far more important and absolutely fantastic news.
As always, the chronically underappreciated Coast Guard did fantastic work here, but that is no surprise.
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