KEY WEST, Fla. – Two crew members died after a Navy jet went down off the coast of the Florida Keys during a mishap Wednesday, according to officials.
The F/A-18 Super Hornet was part of Strike Fighter Squadron 213, the “Blacklions,” based out of Naval Air Station Oceana in Virginia Beach, according to WTKR.
— Barbie Wilson (@barbiedoll0087) March 14, 2018
The crash happened at 4:30 p.m. in shallow waters after the aircraft caught fire and crashed one mile off the runway from the naval station in Key West. The pilot and a weapons system officer managed to eject and deploy their parachutes, according to WPLG.
According to Navy officials, the pilot and officer were taken to the Lower Keys Medical Center where they were later pronounced dead.
UPDATE: We are sad to report that both aviators have been declared deceased. Their families are in our prayers. Per policy, we will withhold notification pending NOK notification.
— flynavy (@flynavy) March 15, 2018