Massachusetts Native Seriously Injured in Hawaii Plane Crash - NECN
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Massachusetts Native Seriously Injured in Hawaii Plane Crash

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    Video Captures Pilot's Rescue From Crashed Jet

    Video and photos captured the rescue of a 47-year-old civilian pilot, whose jet crashed shortly after take-off during a military exercise. (Published Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018)

    An Andover, Massachusetts native was seriously injured in a plane crash off the Hawaii coast on Wednesday.

    Matt Pothier, a 47-year-old Hawaii Air National Guard civilian contractor, is in serious condition after his plane crashed off the coast of Honolulu during a military exercise, authorities said.

    He ejected safely from the Hawker Hunter jet he was piloting, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam said in a statement. He was initially rescued by a private sailboat and then transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard.

    "Stuff happens," the 1989 Andover High grad told the Salem News. "There were a lot of boats in the water, so I pointed for a safe area and got out of the airplane."

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    Honolulu Emergency Services spokesman Dustin Malama said Pothier appeared to have traumatic injuries and was taken to a hospital. He was scheduled to undergo surgery for a spinal injury on Thursday.

    "All my extremities are moving around and I'm doing OK," he told the Salem News.

    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 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. The exercise was scheduled to resume Thursday morning.

    The Hawaii Air National Guard was hosting the exercise, which involved about 800 personnel and 30 aircraft from nine states.

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    The cause of the crash remains under investigation, the military said.

    Departing flights from the Honolulu airport were held as a precaution for about 20 minutes, said Tim Sakahara, spokesman for the state Department of Transportation.

    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.

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