American FA18
Two American FA18 Hornets have crashed off the South Carolina coast US Department of Defense

Two American FA-18 Hornet fighter jets have collided and crashed off the North Carolina coast. All four pilots managed to eject to safety before they were rescued by the US Coast Guard.

The US Coast Guard was assisted by a fishing vessel to help rescue the survivors after the collision 25 miles east of Oregon Inlet.

"Coast Guard Fifth District Command Center watchstanders were notified at 10:30 am that two planes collided and four people were in the water," a US Coast Guard statement read.

"The crew of the commercial fishing vessel Jamie recovered all four survivors. An HH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Elizabeth City, North Carolina, hoisted the survivors and took them to Norfolk Sentara General hospital."

Manufacturer Boeing boasts every FA-18 Hornet has been delivered on "cost and on schedule". The model, which is also used by the Australian military, is considered "the most cost-effective aircraft" in the US aviation fleet, costing less per flight hour than any other in the US forces inventory.

The jets are the same as the one that crashed in the UK near the RAF Lakenheath airbase in Suffolk in October 2015. The pilot of the jet died when the FA-18 he was flying crashed near the airbase. It was claimed the pilot managed to eject before the aircraft plummeted to the ground. The jet crashed five miles north west of the airbase in the Fens, Cambridgeshire.

FA-18 Hornet

Empty Weight: 32,100 lb (14,552 kg)
Max Takeoff Weight: 66,000 lb (29,937 kg)
Thrust Each engine up to: 17,000 lbs
Speed: Mach 1.8
Maximum height: 50,000+ ft (15,240+ m)

Source: Boeing