Officials: 2 NAS Oceana-based aviators die after crash in Key West

National

KEY WEST, Fla. — Two NAS Oceana-based aviators died after their jet crashed Wednesday afternoon during a training flight in Key West, Navy officials say.

The two crew members were in an F/A-18F Super Hornet that was on its final approach to Boca Chica Field at Naval Air Station Key West at the time of the crash around 4:30 p.m.

NAS Key West was formally established in 1940, and is now largely used as a training facility for air-to-air combat fighter aircraft.

Officials say both the pilot and the weapons systems officer ejected from the jet and landed in the water.

The two were recovered approximately a mile east of the runway and taken to the hospital, where they later died. The crew members were part of the Strike Fighter Squadron 213 (VFA-213). The “Fighting Blacklions” are currently serving on the carrier George H.W. Bush.

Navy officials have released few details about the crash. They called the incident a “mishap” and say the investigation into the crash remains ongoing.

According to one witness, the jet caught fire mid-air before crashing.

Stay with WAVY.com for the latest developments.

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