KEY WEST, Fla. — A pilot and weapons system officer were killed when their Navy jet crashed off the coast of the Florida Keys during a training exercise Wednesday, according to officials.
The F/A-18 Super Hornet was part of Strike Fighter Squadron 213, the “Blacklions,” based out of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, Virginia, according to WTKR.
The crash happened at 2:30 p.m. MDT in shallow waters after the aircraft caught fire and went down one mile off the runway from the naval station in Key West.
The pilot and a weapons system officer managed to eject and deploy their parachutes, according to WPLG.
According to a Navy official, both crew members were rescued and taken to the Lower Keys Medical Center. They were later pronounced dead.