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Guard pilot rescued after jets collide

NORFOLK, Va. — Two Air National Guard fighter jets clipped each other’s wings midair, forcing one of the pilots to eject into the ocean and be rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter a few hours later off the Virginia coast, officials said Friday.

The other pilot involved in the Thursday night collision was able to fly back to Joint Base Andrews, Md. Both jets were from the 113th Wing D.C. Air National Guard and were on a routine training mission when the collision occurred.

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Captain Michael Odle, chief of public affairs for the air wing, didn’t specify the exact maneuvers the pilots were going through.

The Air National Guard has not released the names of the pilots involved, but Odle said both are experienced pilots. One is a captain and the other is a lieutenant colonel.

The Coast Guard said the pilot of the jet rescued early Friday is in good condition. Odle said the other pilot has already been evaluated by medical staff and released.

‘‘We are extremely fortunate to have lost only metal, and not the life of one of our airmen,’’ said Brigadier General Marc Sasseville, 113th Wing commander.

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