Navy Investigating Cause of Training Mission Jet Crash

Navy aviators involved in a crash exit a Coast Guard helicopter at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, Va. Two Navy jet fighters collided off the coast of North Carolina, officials said. (L. Todd Spencer/The Virginian-Pilot via AP)

RALEIGH, N.C. — Four Navy aviators ejected from two fighter jets "at a high rate of speed" after their aircraft got into trouble in the air and plunged into the Atlantic Ocean off the North Carolina coast, one of the rescuers said.

The F/A-18 Super Hornet jet fighters, based in Virginia Beach, crashed Thursday around 10:40 a.m. off the coast of Cape Hatteras, following an "in-flight mishap" that happened during a training exercise, said Lt. Cmdr. Tiffani Walker, a spokeswoman for Naval Air Force Atlantic. Walker did not have any further details.

The four crew members suffered only minor injuries.

"In my opinion, the guys got pretty lucky," Derick Ansley, an aviation survival technician with the Coast Guard who helped rescue two of the aviators, told WTKR-TV. "Everything happened exactly the way it should have in that situation and somebody was looking over their shoulder when it was happening. For people to walk away from that is a pretty amazing thing," he said.

Claude Morrissey, another Coast Guard rescuer, told WTKR the aviators ejected from the jet "at a high rate of speed." Ansley said some wreckage from one…

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