Rescuers Tuesday picked up a Malaysian air force pilot whose Skyhawk fighter bomber crashed into the South China Sea.

It was the second crash of the U.S.-built planes in less than a week.All 35 remaining Skyhawks of the Royal Malaysian Air Force were subsequently grounded for checks, the National News Agency Bernama quoted the Deputy Defence Minister Abang Abu Bakar Mustapha as saying.

Since 40 Skyhawks were purchased in 1984, five have crashed. The former U.S. Navy planes were refurbished by Grumman Corporation before being bought by the Malaysian government.

A Defense Ministry spokesman said the pilot was in good condition after spending nearly 15 hours in the sea. The U.S.-made plane crashed on Monday.