A Honolulu-based parasailing guide recounts the moments he saw a civilian pilot for the Hawaii Air National Guard eject from his stricken plane and land in the water nearby. The pilot, who the man's crew helped pull from the water, said both engines went out on his jet, forcing him to eject. (Jillian Angeline and Ben Murray / Military Times)

HONOLULU — A civilian contractor for the Hawaii Air National Guard who was participating in a military exercise survived after his plane crashed off the coast of Honolulu, authorities said Wednesday.

U.S. Coast Guard spokeswoman Petty Officer Sara Muir says the pilot is in stable condition after being rescued about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) south of Oahu near Honolulu’s Sand Island. However, an update from Honolulu Emergency Services spokesman Dustin Malama says the 47-year-old appears to have traumatic injuries and was taken to a hospital.

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.

The pilot had been participating in a military exercise called Sentry Aloha exercise, said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer Matthew West. The Hawaii Air National Guard was hosting the exercise, which involved about 800 personnel and 30 aircraft from nine states.

An MK-58 Hawker Hunter taxis aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort , S.C., on April 18, 2018. The aircraft is with the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company. (Marine Corps)
An MK-58 Hawker Hunter taxis aboard Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort , S.C., on April 18, 2018. The aircraft is with the Airborne Tactical Advantage Company. (Marine Corps)

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.

The British navy and air force continued to use a two-seat version into the early 1990s.

Britain exported the plane, and it was also used by the air forces of 21 other nations.