On Jan. 24, 2022, U.S. Navy F-35C Lightning II crashes while landing aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea. The pilot ejected safely from the aircraft. Seven other sailors aboard the ship were injured and the fate of the aircraft was unknown.
Yesterday we posted a photograph, showing the F-35C belonging to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 and assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 floating in the water after it suffered a landing mishap that forced the pilot to eject and injured 7 sailors.
Now, a video has also emerged online supposedly showing the final approach of the F-35C to the carrier. While it can’t be verified, the footage appears to be consistent with the details about the incident that has surfaced so far.
The 17-second video shows the F-35C with landing gear and tailhook down approaching the fantail at the end of the base turn. You can clearly hear the engine revving up as the pilot applied more thrust to counter the low altitude/high sink rate.
The very last second shows the jet hitting the flight deck or ramp with white smoke becoming visible before recording stops.
The U.S. Navy plans to recover the F-35C in order to prevent China or Russia from putting their hands on sensitive parts of the precious 5th generation aircraft.
The service has yet to provide any other additional details about the incident.
The Navy said the cause of the “inflight mishap” was under investigation.
The crash occurred while the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson Strike Group was involved in a high-profile naval exercise with the aircraft carrier USS Abraham Lincoln Strike Group, the USS Essex Amphibious Ready Group, the USS America Amphibious Ready Group, and a Japanese Maritime Self Defense helicopter carrier.
The participation of so many air capable and amphibious U.S. Navy ships operating together in the South China Sea highlights the U.S. Navy’s capabilities in a region where China continues to make maritime territorial claims.