HONOLULU (CBS/AP) — A Hawaii Air National Guard civilian contractor who graduated from Andover High School was seriously injured Wednesday after his plane crashed off the coast of Honolulu during a military exercise, authorities said.
Matt Pothier, pilot of the Hawker Hunter jet, ejected safely from the plane, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam said in a statement. The crash was captured on video.
He was initially rescued by a private sailboat and then transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard.
Honolulu Emergency Services spokesman Dustin Malama said the 47-year-old appeared to have traumatic injuries and was taken to a hospital.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said a Hawker Hunter jet went down in the ocean around 2:25 p.m. after taking off from Honolulu’s airport.
Pothier was rescued about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) south of Oahu near Honolulu’s Sand Island, the U.S. Coast Guard said. He had been participating in a military exercise called Sentry Aloha, which was temporarily suspended after the crash.
Massachusetts Sen.-elect Barry Finegold went to Andover High School with Pothier. Finegold said Pothier is a “great guy” and he is glad to hear he survived the crash.
The Hawaii Air National Guard was hosting the exercise, which involved about 800 personnel and 30 aircraft from nine states. The cause of the crash was under investigation, the military said.
The Hawker Hunter is a British jet developed in the late 1940s and early 1950s, said the website of defense contractor BAE Systems.
Initially, a single-seat version was used as a maneuverable fighter aircraft. It was later used as both a fighter and bomber and for reconnaissance missions.
The British navy and air force continued to use a two-seat version into the early 1990s. Britain exported the plane, and it was also used by the air forces of 21 other nations.
(© Copyright 2018 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)