Downed Pilot Rescued From Ocean
OCEAN CITY — One Air National Guard pilot was rescued from the ocean by the Coast Guard after nearly two hours in the water and another safely flew back to Andrews Air Force Base after a mid-air collision involving two jets off the coast of Chincoteague last Thursday night.
Around 10:30 p.m. last Thursday, Coast Guard 5th District Command Center watch standers received notification via an automated Search and Rescue Satellite Aided Tracking distress signal from an ejection seat registered to an Air National Guard plane. The Navy’s Fleet Area Control and Surveillance Facility at Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach contacted the Coast Guard and confirmed two 113th Wing D.C. Air National Guard F-16C Falcon jets were involved in a mid-air collision.
One pilot ejected and his jet crashed into the open ocean. The second pilot was able to fly his F-16C Falcon back to Andrews Air Force Base. The Coast Guard dispatched an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter rescue crew to the scene to assist with rescue operations. Around 12:30 a.m. on Friday, or about two hours after the collision, the Jayhawk crew hoisted the pilot and transferred him to Andrews Air Force Base.
The rescued Falcon pilot was in good condition. Both pilots were taken to a medical facility on the base. One pilot was released and the other was taken to an offsite medical facility for treatment of minor injuries. The cause of the accident is still under investigation this week.