Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content
Aviation Accident

Quick Launch

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA186
14 CFR Public Aircraft
Accident occurred Tuesday, August 22, 2017 in Pacific Ocean, PO
Aircraft: HAWKER SIDDELEY HUNTER MK.58, registration: N338AX
Injuries: 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On August 22, 2017, about 1618 Pacific daylight time, a Hawker Hunter MK-58, N338AX, was substantially damaged when it impacted open ocean during an exercise with a United States Navy fighter jet. The airline transport pilot received serious injuries. The airplane was registered to Hunter Aviation International, Inc. and operated by Airborne Tactical Advantage (ATAC) under contract with the U.S. Navy as a public aircraft. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and an instrument flight rules flight plan was filed for the local flight that departed Point Mugu Naval Air Station, Ontario, California at 1517.

According to the pilot's wingman, he was one nautical mile behind the accident airplane during an adversarial exercise with a military fighter jet. The military airplane was about 1,000 feet abeam the accident airplane's port side when it suddenly turned right and crossed in front of the accident airplane's flight path. The pilot of the accident airplane subsequently entered a 60 degree right turn and pitched up to follow the military fighter, but the airplane entered a rapid left bank angle, which was immediately followed by a nose low pitch attitude. He then observed the airplane roll wings level and then immediately roll into a 60 degree right turn again followed by a rapid left bank angle. The airplane's repeated the same sequence at least one more time before it entered a 40-degree nose down pitch attitude and the pilot ejected. In his recount, the witness reported that the airplane appeared to depart controlled flight about 15 seconds after the military airplane crossed in front of the accident airplane.