At approximately 1016 EST, reports began to emerge of a U.S. Navy F-18 crash off the coast of a Key West, Florida. By 1300 EST, local media confirmed the pilot had been rescued after ejecting over the ocean.
The announcement from Fighter Squadron Composite (VFC) 111:
“We can confirm that a Navy pilot assigned to a Naval Air Station Key West-based Fighter Squadron Composite (VFC) 111 “Sun Downers,” ejected from an F-5N aircraft approximately 25 miles from Boca Chica Field at approximately 9:20 a.m. today. A NAS Key West Search and Rescue crew launched an MH-60S helicopter and rescued the pilot, who is being transported to a Miami-area hospital for further evaluation.
VFC-111 is a Navy Reserve squadron composed of Training and Administration of the Reserve (TAR) and Selected Reserve personnel.
The safety and well-being of our pilot remains our top priority. The cause of the incident will be investigated. More details will be released as they become available.”