As we have reported earlier the Royal Air Force Lockheed-Martin F-35B Lightning II stealth jet crashes into the Mediterranean Sea. The pilot ejected safely and was rescued. Now the alleged footage of the incident is leaked online.
The video shows the jet attempting to take off from the Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth in the eastern Mediterranean.
You can clearly see an F-35B, configured for short take-off (with open LIFT fan door and rear nozzle pivoted downward), rolling on the ski jump at very low speed (much lower than normal), then literally falling off the carrier for lack of enough thrust/lift.
The pilot manages to launch as the aircraft reaches the final part of the ski jump. The ejection and a parachute floating down can be seen in the video posted by the Twitter account @sebh1981.
Here’s the video:
The clip, most likely shot with a smartphone since the actual video was possibly taken by the aircraft’s camera system, is viewed on a computer screen.
The UK Ministry of Defense has neither refuted nor confirmed the authenticity of the video.
The pilot from the Royal Air Force 617 Squadron, known as the Dambusters, was safely rescued by helicopter.
The Ministry of Defence has yet to authenticate the footage.
An MoD spokesman acknowledged the existence of the video but didn’t comment further on the leak.
“We are aware of a video circulating online. It is too soon to comment on the potential causes of this incident. The recovery efforts are ongoing and the Defence Accident Investigation Branch will report back their preliminary findings in due course,” he said.