Navy fighter aircraft crashes near Key West

A Navy F-5N Tiger II tactical fighter aircraft from Fighter Composite Squadron 111 crashed into the ocean about 20 nautical miles southeast of Naval Air Station Key West today, according to a press release from Naval Air Force Reserve Public Affairs.

The aircraft, assigned to the Navy Reserve, was involved in training operations off the Florida coast today when it crashed at roughly 12:38 p.m.

No cause was given for the crash and the release said that the incident is currently under investigation.

The pilot, who has not yet been identified, safely ejected from the aircraft and was quickly recovered by a Coast Guard helicopter. He was reported to have no significant injuries and was transferred to Lower Keys Medical Center for evaluation, the release said.

VFC-111 is a reserve squadron that operates as part of the fleet adversary program, which simulates the enemy in combat training for Navy and Marine Corps strike fighter and attack squadrons. They have done similar missions flying against U.S. Air Force, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard fighter squadrons.

The squadron is made up of both active duty and reserve pilots, and enlisted sailors.

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