A US Navy F/A-18 fighter jet has reportedly crashed off the coast of Florida this afternoon.
The aircraft was flying near the Naval Air Station Key West and crashed into water on the station’s property.
There were two aviators, one pilot and one weapons systems officer, on board who both ejected from the aircraft at around 4:30pm Wednesday afternoon according to Commander Dave Hecht, the Naval Air Forces Atlantic spokesman.
Witnesses say that there seemed to be an explosion of some sort prior to the crash.
“I saw the fire and then it just dropped,” said Barbie Wilson, a nearby resident who was driving when she saw the plane flip upside-down and then erupt into flames.
“In the air, I saw fire,” Wilson said.
Sadly both aviators did not survive. Their names have not been released at this time pending notification of the families.
The F/A-18 is a twin-engined multirole combat jet capable of flying at speeds over 1,100 miles per hour. A single aircraft costs between $30-70 million, depending on the variant.
Please join us in praying for the families of the aviators who died while serving our country.
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