Home » Aviation » Video: Navy Reserve F-5 Crashes Off of Key West; Pilot in Good Condition After Coast Guard Rescue


Video: Navy Reserve F-5 Crashes Off of Key West; Pilot in Good Condition After Coast Guard Rescue

The U.S. Coast Guard rescues a member of VFC-111 following an Aug. 9, 2017 off of Key West, Fla. Coast Guard Image

A Navy Reserve pilot was rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard after his F-5 Tiger II crashed off the coast of Key West, Fla., a Coast Guard spokesperson told USNI News on Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Navy, the pilot went down about 20 nautical miles off the coast south east of Key West at about 12:38 p.m. EST during a training operation.

“The watchstanders diverted a Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew to conduct a search,” read a statement from the Coast Guard.
“The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 1:15 p.m., observed an emergency smoke signal and located the pilot in the water. The rescue crew hoisted the pilot from the water and brought him back to Lower Keys Medical Center in good condition.”

The F-5 is attached to Fighter Squadron Composite 111 (VFC-111) Sundowners based at Naval Air Station Key West, Florida. The reserve unit fills in the role of aggressor aircraft in Navy, Marine Corps and other service’s fighter training exercises. Until the crash, the squadron operated 18 of the F-5s.

The circumstances around the crash are now under investigation, according to the Navy.

141104-N-YB753-091
KEY WEST, Fla. (Nov. 4, 2014) An F-5N Tiger II assigned to the Sun Downers of Fighter Squadron Composite (VFC) 111 launches from Boca Chica Field. Naval Air Station Key West is a state-of-the-art facility for air-to-air combat fighter aircraft of all military services and provides world-class pierside support to U.S. and foreign naval vessels. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Brian Morales/Released

The following is the complete Aug.9, 2017 releases from Coast Guard 7th District and Commander, Naval Air Force Reserve.

Coast Guard rescues Navy pilot from water 20 nautical miles southeast of Key West

MIAMI – The Coast Guard rescued a Navy pilot from the water approximately 20 nautical miles southeast of Key West, Wednesday.

Watchstanders with Coast Guard 7th District Command Center were notified at approximately 1:07 p.m. that a Navy F-5N jet pilot was in the water and needed assistance. The watchstanders diverted a Coast Guard Air Station Miami MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew and an HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew to conduct a search.

The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 1:15 p.m., observed an emergency smoke signal and located the pilot in the water. The rescue crew hoisted the pilot from the water and brought him back to Lower Keys Medical Center in good condition.

Navy Pilot Recovered After Jet Crash

A Navy pilot ejected from his F5-N Tiger II tactical fighter aircraft about 20 nautical miles southeast of Naval Air Station Key West. The pilot was quickly recovered by a Coast Guard helicopter at approximately 1:15 p.m. The pilot, who has not been identified, is assigned to Fighter Squadron Composite (VFC) 111. He was reported to have no significant injuries. The F5-N Tiger II tactical fighter aircraft crashed into the ocean while conducting training operations off the Florida coast. Report of the jet’s downing came in at 12:38 p.m. The incident is currently under investigation. The pilot was transferred to Lower Keys Medical Center for evaluation

 

 

 

  • Rocco

    Good to hear the pilot is OK!! Those F-5’s are getting long in the tooth!!

  • DaSaint

    Too many aviation accidents in the USN & USMC. Training, Maintenance and Operations budgets have suffered and the effects are pretty clear to see.

    • LowObservable

      It’s almost a weekly occurrence now sadly.

    • Duane

      Accidents have always been a factor in aviation. It’s a risky business.

      Most people don’t realize that half of all our aviation casualties in World War Two were non-operational, meaning, training, ferrying, air to air collisions, engine failures, fuel starvation, bad weather, and other non-combat causes. Even in combat air operations, lots of aircraft and aircrew were lost simply in transit to and from combat destinations. In the Pacific war, large numbers of our long range B-24 bombers simply were never heard from again, flying across the vast stretches of open ocean.

      Non-combat losses are far less today, as a percentage of the total air fleet, than they were even four decades ago.

    • muzzleloader

      I could be wrong, but I thought that most of the maintenance of these types based in the Keys is performed by contractors. Anyone?

  • FactChecker90803

    Should have bought the MIG 29s the East German, Polish or Czechoslovakia air forces had back in the 90s, as replacement for the F-5s.

    • El Kabong

      Dumb idea.

      Russian aircraft are horrendously expensive to maintain and have short lives.

  • Matt Carruthers

    I wonder if that “Mig-28” pilot got distracted from Goose snapping a picture

  • Edward Leonard

    F5 are older then most of the pilots that fly them although a very good A/C

  • Secundius

    Outside of NASA, I didn’t think there were ANY F-5’s Still in Service in the United States. Let alone in Reserve Forces…

    • b2

      Thousands fly worldwide and even the USAF uses the T-38 jet trainer (another derivative of F-5). “Long of tooth” (easy way to discredit an object or a person) the F-3/38 may be, but it still has TWO (2) engines, can fly supersonic and can dogfight!

  • James Goodwin

    First F-5N to crash since they were acquired from Switzerland as low time F-5E airframes and refurbished with a new designation of F-5N by Northrup Grumman. That aircraft replaced older F-5E’s with expired airframes, some came from South Vietnam F-5E’s which flew to Thailand on April 29/20 1975 and others came from the 71 F-5E’s under construction for South Vietnam and embargoed for use by both USN and USAF as aggressor aircraft for their respective programs.

  • Bob Kimball

    Boca Chica has an active F5N fleet for many years, glad the rescue was successful