View Full Version : 2 Marine F/A 18s crash in Atlantic, Pilots Rescued

10-15-03, 02:48 PM
Whoops! Lucy, you got some 'splainin' to do!

[The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: 10/15/03 ]

Two Marine jets crash into Atlantic; pilots rescued

The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C. -- Two Marine Corps jet fighters crashed in the Atlantic on Wednesday during a training exercise. The pilots were rescued by the U.S. Coast Guard and brought safely back to land, authorities said.

The pilots were in good condition, said Capt. Don Caetano, the public affairs officer for the Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station where the single-seat F/A-18A plus planes were based.

The planes went down about 8:40 a.m. about 54 nautical miles southeast of Saint Helena Sound, which is midway between Charleston and Savannah, Ga., the Coast Guard said.

"They were conducting routine training and they had a mishap," Caetano said, adding a Marine investigation has been started to determine the cause.

Asked if the planes might have clipped each other in the air, Caetano said "right now it's too preliminary for me to comment on the circumstances surrounding what happened."

The names of the pilots will not be released until their relatives are notified, Caetano said.

The Coast Guard began searching after getting reports that fishermen saw flares about 8:40 a.m., said Lt. j.g. Will Whitehead of the Charleston Coast Guard Base.

"We got numerous reports from fishing vessels," Whitehead said. "When the pilots ejected, a fishing vessel out of Edisto reported seeing a flare."

The Coast Guard then received a call from the air station, Whitehead said.

A Coast Guard helicopter found the pilots and transported them to Hilton Head Island. The pilots were then transferred to a Marine Corps helicopter and flown to the Beaufort Naval Hospital, Caetano said.

The planes belonged to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 115, Caetano said.

The Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station is located about 70 miles southwest of Charleston.