On Oct. 14, 2019, the long-awaited arrival of the stealth fighters happened on the new warship – the biggest ever in the Royal Navy – which is expected to enter service in 2020.
The aircraft carrier’s deployment for Westlant 19 – a three-month exercise started off the coast of the US and Canada, featuring the UK Carrier Strike Group and US allies. It was the first time British-owned F-35s landed aboard the 65,000 tonnes, £3 billion, carrier – which began sea trials in June 2017.
A leaked video clip recently surfaced on Daily Star apparently featuring the Royal Navy’s pilot of F-35B Lightning II stealth fighter jet falling at on his face, shortly after landing on new Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.
— NavyLookout (@NavyLookout) October 16, 2019
The slapstick comedy scene was captured on CCTV footage that was later leaked on the internet. The video shows the moments after the F-35 Lighting pilot climbed out of his fighter jet. After shaking hands with several colleagues, the pilot trips and hits the carrier’s deck face-first. A crew member then rushes to his aid.
The footage was reportedly taken during a joint exercise with the US and marks the first time that HMS ‘Queen Elizabeth’ had welcomed a British F-35 on its deck.
Although the pilot doesn’t seem to be badly hurt by the stumble, some have speculated that the mishap may come with a hefty price tag. The pilot’s high-tech helmet – specifically designed for the F-35 – costs around £250,000 ($324,600).
Britain’s Ministry of Defense told the Daily Star that it has launched a probe to determine who leaked the embarrassing CCTV footage.
The footage was shared on Twitter by Save the Royal Navy, an independent online campaign to promote the Royal and flight its decline, that commented: “Triumphant F-35 pilot arrival on HMS Queen Elizabeth – the deleted scene.
It’s not certain if the pilot is from the RAF or the Royal Navy, but Royal Navy pilots are thought to have been the r land F-35s on HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The tweet has prompted a string of comments, with some criticizing Save the Royal Navy for sharing the video, and others expressing concern the video – which some suggest comes from HMS Queen Elizabeth ‘s own CCTV camer has been leaked.
However, most found the footage hilarious – but expressed concern for the pilot’s hi-tech helmet, which is believed to cost around £250,000 each.
The F-35 Gen III Helmet Mounted Display System’s next-generation interface provides pilots with intuitive access vast quantities of light, tactical, and sensor information for advanced situational awareness, precision and safety