WASHINGTON — A U.S. Navy fighter jet crashed Wednesday off the coast of Key West, Florida, killing its two crew members.
The F/A-18 Super Hornet was on approach to land at the naval air station around 4:30 p.m. EDT, and crashed into the water about a mile east of the runway.
The pilot and weapons system officer ejected and were recovered, but U.S. Naval Air Forces reported late Wednesday night that both had died. Their names are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. The cause of the crash is also under investigation.
The aircraft crew is based from the Naval Air Station Oceana-based Strike Fighter Squadron 213 in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The Super Hornet is a twin-engine fighter jet that is larger than the single-seat F/A-18 Hornet.
“At about 4:30 PM Eastern Time, the F/A-18F Super Hornet on a routine training flight, crashed while on final approach to Boca Chica Field on Naval Air Station, Key West, Florida,” said Cmdr. Dave Hecht, spokesman for Naval Forces Atlantic. “At this time, that is all the information I have.”
Hecht could not speculate as to the cause of the “mishap,” saying much remains unknown. The Navy will be investigating the incident to determine the cause of the crash.
The “Fighting Black Lions” of VFA-213 are assigned to Carrier Air Wing Eight, which is currently assigned to the carrier George H.W. Bush.
Navy Times staff writers Geoff Ziezulewicz, Mark Faram and J.D. Simkins contributed to this report.