Off the coast of Wilmington, North Carolina, a Hawker Hunter fighter plane owned by the private military company Airborne Tactical Advantage Company (ATAC) has fallen into the Atlantic Ocean.
The incident took place on June 20, 2022, at 5.15 p.m. EDT (21:15 GMT), about 40 miles (64 kilometres) away, according to a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
The pilot was saved by the U.S. Coast Guard, but the statement gave no additional details about their current health.The N337AX-registered aircraft is visible in ADS-B Exchange data performing what looks to be an air combat drill alongside four further ATAC-owned Hawker Hunters and two IAI Kfirs.
The pilot was likely taken onto a fishing boat shortly after the collision and may have suffered a major back injury, according to Air Traffic Controller (ATC) audio that LiveATC recorded and shared online.
A PMC that operates a variety of combat aircraft, such as Mirage F1s, IAI Kfirs, and Hawker Hunters is ATAC, a Textron subsidiary.
The company offers a variety of services, such as opponent training, in which its pilots simulate an enemy during fictitious air-to-air encounters.Another ATAC jet, a Mirage F1, crashed in Arizona in February 2022.
The N337AX was 63 years old when it crashed, according to the War Zone. The Hawker Hunter, which was designed in the 1940s and entered service in 1955, is still often used by private military organisations and is one of the world’s oldest combat aircraft still in use.
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