Two F/A-18C Hornets from the aircraft carrier Carl Vinson that crashed early Friday morning collided within view of the flight deck, according to an incident report.
The collision occurred while the fighters were coming in for landing. The flight deck crew reported seeing the collision and debris rocketing through the air, according to the official report obtained by Navy Times.
One pilot ejected immediately, according to witnesses, and was recovered after about 45 minutes in the water. That pilot, assigned to Strike Fighter Squadron 113, is being treated for injuries and is listed in fair condition.
The collision happened yesterday. If they haven’t found the other aviator yet, they’re not likely to, sadly.
Naval aviation is an inherently risky business. It is much safer now than it used to be, but that’s a far cry from being safe.