After Two Unsuccessful Attempts To Restore Engine Power, The Pilot Ejected

Location: Wilmington, NC Accident Number: ERA22LA277
Date & Time: June 20, 2022, 15:50 Local Registration: N337AX
Aircraft: Hawker Aircraft Ltd Hawker Hunter Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Public aircraft

On June 20, 2022, about 1550 eastern daylight time, an experimental Hawker Hunter MK.58, N377AX, was substantially damaged when it impacted the Atlantic Ocean about 40 miles southwest of Wilmington, North Carolina. The commercial pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 public use flight.

According to the operator, while performing an exercise with the US Navy, the airplane experienced a partial loss of engine power at flight level 240. Specifically, the rpm reduced and stabilized to about 5,000. The pilot knew that 6,800 to 7,200 rpm would be required to maintain altitude and return to an airport. After two unsuccessful attempts to restore engine power, the pilot ejected from the airplane at 3,000 ft mean sea level. The pilot was subsequently rescued by a nearby fishing vessel; however, he suffered a serious back injury during the ejection.

Examination of the wreckage was pending its recovery.