Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A civilian Hawaii National Guard pilot participating in a military exercise ejected from small jet Wednesday in Hawaii.
The unidentified 47-year-old male pilot was taken in serious condition to a hospital after a "controlled fall from aircraft," Oahu Emergency Medical Services said in a statement.
The civilian contractor was participating in "Sentry Aloha" exercises when he ejected about 5 miles south of Sand Island, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam said. He was rescued by a private sailboat and transferred to a U.S. Coast Guard boat.
"We heard a loud noise and we looked toward the water. There was a large splash. The water was spraying up that didn't seem normal for wave conditions at the time," witness Shelly Guido told KHON-TV.
Sentry Aloha exercises are hosted by the Air Guard's 154th Wing for realistic combat training for Air National Guard, U.S. Air Force and other Department of Defense services, officials said.
The exercises have been temporarily suspended.
Flight departures from Daniel K. Inouye International Airport were briefly held as a precaution.
The Hawker Hunter, a British jet developed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, comes in one-seat and two-seat configurations, according to defense contractor BAE Systems.