Jet pilot rescued after ejecting off San Diego coast

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A Hawker Hunter jet fighter flies above Kemble airfield near Cirencester, on August 21 2007, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

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SAN DIEGO — A civilian pilot operating a fighter jet about 100 miles off the Southern California coast safely ejected from the aircraft this afternoon and was rescued by U.S. Navy helicopter.

The pilot, who was operating a contracted Hawker Hunter fighter jet, was recovered by a helicopter that was assigned to Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 6, aboard the aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt, according to the U.S. Navy’s Third Fleet.

The British-made aircraft had been “providing support to the Composite Training Unit Exercise for the Theodore Roosevelt Carrier Strike Group,” according to a Third Fleet statement.

The exercise “tests a carrier strike group’s mission-readiness and certifies that strike group for deployment,” according to the Navy.

The pilot was taken to Navy Medical Center San Diego for a full medical assessment, the Third Fleet reported.

The reason for the ejection was not immediately known.

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