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Navy jet goes off runway, splashes into San Diego bay

By Doug G. Ware
Navy jet goes off runway, splashes into San Diego bay
A U.S. Navy T-45 Goshawk sits in the San Diego Bay on Friday, May 22, 2015, after it ran off the runway at Naval Air Station North Island, officials said. The pilot ejected and was briefly hospitalized for injuries. Photo: NBC San Diego

SAN DIEGO, May 22 (UPI) -- A U.S. Navy training jet ran off the runway during takeoff near downtown San Diego Friday, officials said, forcing the pilot to eject.

The accident occurred at about 2 p.m. local time Friday at Naval Air Station North Island in Coronado, when a T-45C Goshawk aircraft ended up in the shallow waters of San Diego Bay.

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The airplane, which the Navy uses to train pilots to land on aircraft carriers, had been assigned to Training Squadron NINE, out of Meridian, Miss., officials said.

The Navy said the aircraft was conducting routine training in advance of aircraft carrier landing qualifications.

Just one pilot was aboard the aircraft, though it can carry two, and he ejected safely during the mishap and also ended up in the water. Boaters rescued the pilot, who was hospitalized.

Authorities did not reveal the extent of the pilot's injuries, but NBC San Diego reported that he is stable and was released from the hospital.

Officials didn't initially know what caused the accident. The Navy is now working to recover the $17 million aircraft, which was made by Boeing and BAE Systems.

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"We came around the corner and looked outside and I saw a parachute landing in the water," one witness told NBC San Diego. "It was good to see the parachute, and you're just hoping he's OK."

A similar accident happened at the station in 2004, when a F-18 fighter jet ended up in the bay in the same location.

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