A civilian contractor’s jet went down while participating in fighter exercises out of Oahu. A Mk-58 Hawker Hunter, operated by the Virginia-based Airborne Tactical Advantage Co., reportedly crashed shortly after taking off at approximately 2:25 p.m. local time Wednesday afternoon.
#BREAKING: First video into our newsroom of the military plane crash in waters off Honolulu. The pilot, a 47-year-old male, suffered serious injuries. Details: https://t.co/ltGLiSMEr1 pic.twitter.com/f9AHrwk3Jn— Hawaii News Now (@HawaiiNewsNow) December 13, 2018
The pilot’s name has not been released, but according to official statements, the 47-year-old appeared to have suffered traumatic injuries sustained during a “controlled fall from aircraft.” He was recovered by a Coast Guard vessel about three miles south of Oahu, near Honolulu’s Sand Island.
The moment of ejection (Hawaii News Now) pic.twitter.com/mZx1zpm6lA— Mickey (@Airsquad9) December 13, 2018
Sentry Aloha is a large-scale series of fighter exercises with more than 30 aircraft participating from 12 different Air National Guard and Air Force units.
Airborne Tactical Advantage Co. (ATAC) operates a number of Hawker Hunters, as well as the F-21 KFIR and L-39 Albatros. According to their website, ATAC has had aggressor aircraft participate in every RIMPAC exercise since 2006, as well as providing training support for the Navy’s Fighter Weapon School, also referred to as Top Gun.
The Hawker Hunter is a British-sourced subsonic jet fighter produced in large numbers during the 1940s and 50s. The resilient and capable fighter continued to see service in militaries around the world until as recently as 2014.