A private Hawker Hunter aircraft of the ATAC private company crashed off the coast of Honolulu, Hawaii. The aircraft reportedly crashed shortly after it took off from Honolulu Airport, which was close to the Joint Base Perl Harbor-Hickman on Wednesday.
Photos were posted on Twitter, which shows the pilot ejecting moments before the aircraft was going to crash into the water. According to the local news media, the pilot was a 47 years old civilian contractor who was flying for ATAC. Some reports have also made news that the pilot was a “Hawaii Air National Guard civilian contractor”.
At the moment, that cause of the aircraft’s crash is still under investigation. Meanwhile, the picture clearly shows that the pilot was trying to bring the aircraft back to Honolulu in an attempt to recover it from an in-flight emergency but later decided to eject to save his life.
The pilot was later rescued by a civilian boat in the area near the crash and transferred him to a US Coast Guard vessel which came responding to the emergency. The accident happened 3 miles south of Oahu near Honolulu’s Sand Island.
The aircraft, which crashed, is a Mark 58 Hawker Hunter, which is a single seat, single engine tactical fighter aircraft. Before the crash, the aircraft was taking part in a large-scale training exercise over the Pacific called Sentry Aloha. This aircraft was first built by Britain, flew for the first time in 1951, and was renowned in the British Royal Air Force due to its durability and dependability. This aircraft has been also used in the combat missions in the Middle East and Africa.
According to the media, nearly 30 aircraft have been deployed from 9 states for the large-scale tactical training exercise and includes aircraft like USAF F-15 Eagles, F-22 Raptors, E-3B AWACS and F-16 Fighting Falcons.