Tyndall Air Force Base officials are working to recover a submerged F-15. The jet crashed into a marshland along the Franklin County coast. One of Tyndall Air Force Base's best pilots was flying the F-15 Eagle that went down during a training mission around noon Friday.
Lt. Col. Patrick Marshall, a command pilot with several thousand hours of flight time under his belt, is in good condition. The F-15 Eagle went down along some marshlands about 160 yards from a vacant rental house in St. George Island.
Fish and Wildlife officials picked Lt. Col. Patrick Marshall up around 1:30, and a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter transported him back to Tyndall Air Force Base around 3 o'clock on Friday.
Base officials say it was the quick response of the four wingmen flying with Colonel Marshall, and Marshall's own experience that helped him survive the crash.
"At Tyndall AFB we fly 14,000 F15 training missions annually. Safety is at the foundation of everything we do, and even in an accident like this you can see the professionalism in terms of life support that Col. Marshall received," says Captain Chris Karns of Tyndall Air Force Base.
The cause of the accident has not yet been released. Base officials say it's an uncommon incident.
"The last accident involving an F-15 here at Tyndall was May of 1994. The survival of that pilot and Col. Marshall today proves the training here at Tyndall works," says Captain Karns.
An investigative board is looking into the cause of the accident. An official report is expected within 60 days.