F-18 fighter jet crashes in Florida

US Navy F-18 fighter jet
US Navy F-18 fighter jet. Photo credit: Getty

A US Navy F-18 fighter jet has crashed into the waters off the coast of Florida.

The pilots managed to eject from the US$70 million jet before it hit the water, local media reported. A rescue operation was launched immediately to find them.

The incident happened at around 9:30am (NZ time)

"I saw the fire and then it just dropped," local woman Barbie Wilson told FL Keys News. "In the air, I saw fire."

It's believed the crew were based at a base on Virginia Beach, hundreds of kilometres to the north.

"I can confirm we have an F/A-18 down," Commander Dave Hecht told local media, confirming both pilots managed to eject. It's unclear if they survived.