A Hawker Hunter aggressor aircraft, operated by the ATAC (Airborne Tactical Advantage Company), has crashed off the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii on Dec. 12.
The aircraft reportedly took off from Honolulu airport for participating in a military exercise and crashed shortly after at around 2:28 PM local time.
The pilot of the aircraft, a civilian contractor, ejected safely and was initially rescued by a private sailboat then transferred to a U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) vessel. The pilot was rescued about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) south of Oahu near Honolulu’s Sand Island, the USCG said.
The Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickham (JBPHH), a U.S. military base adjacent to Honolulu, confirmed the incident. Honolulu airport is located near the Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam.
“JBPHH is confirming a Hawker-Hunter aircraft operated by a civilian contractor has crashed into the ocean five miles south of Sand Island at approximately 2:28 p.m., Wednesday, Dec 12, 2018”, said the statement.
Federal Fire responded and City and County EMS was dispatched to Sand Island to treat and transport the patient to a hospital.
JBPHH statement added that it does not have further details of the pilot’s condition at this time.
The pilot was flying in conjunction with Sentry Aloha exercises being hosted by the Hawaii Air National Guard at JBPHH. Sentry Aloha exercises have been temporarily suspended in the wake of this accident. The exercise will resume Thursday morning.
Further details will be released as they become available and the cause of the incident is currently under investigation by appropriate authorities, added the JBPHH statement.
Hawker Hunter is a transonic British jet-powered fighter aircraft that was developed by Hawker Aircraft for the Royal Air Force (RAF) during the late 1940s and early 1950s.
Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC), is a government contractor based in Newport News, Virginia, USA. It operates Mk-58 Hawker Hunter, Israeli F-21 Kfir, A-4 Skyhawk, and L-39 Albatross II military aircraft in tactical flight training roles for U.S. Navy, Air Force and Air National Guard.
ATAC was acquired by Textron in 2016 and continues to operate as a subsidiary.