An F-5N training aircraft flying from Naval Air Station Key West, Florida, crashed into the Atlantic Ocean Wednesday, prompting the pilot to eject, officials said.

The Navy pilot of the Tiger II, assigned to Fighter Squadron Composite 111, ejected at about 9:20 a.m., roughly 25 miles from Boca Chica Field, according to Cmdr. Robert Myers, a Navy spokesman.

NAS Key West launched an MH-60S helicopter and rescue crew who retrieved the pilot, Myers said. The pilot was evaluated and released from a local hospital, he added.

No further details about what transpired were released.

“The safety and well-being of our pilot remains our top priority,” Myers said. “The cause of the incident will be investigated.”

Known as the “Sun Downers,” the squadron is a reserve unit.

The F-5N is a single-seat, tactical fighter and attack jet used to simulate enemy aircraft during air-to-air combat training. The aircraft serves in an aggressor-training role with simulation capability of current threat aircraft in fighter combat mode.

Geoff is a senior staff reporter for Military Times, focusing on the Navy. He covered Iraq and Afghanistan extensively and was most recently a reporter at the Chicago Tribune. He welcomes any and all kinds of tips at

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