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. The fate of the aircraft is unknown.
Navy’s Pacific Fleet Full release :
An F-35C Lightning II, assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, had a landing mishap on the deck while USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) was conducting routine flight operations in the South China Sea, Jan. 24, 2022. The pilot was safely ejected from the aircraft and was recovered via U.S. military helicopter. The pilot is in stable condition. There were seven total Sailors injured; three Sailors required MEDEVAC to a medical treatment facility in Manila, Philippines, and four were treated by onboard medical personnel. All three MEDEVACs are assessed as stable. Of the four Sailors treated by on-board medical, three have been released. Additional details and the cause of the inflight mishap is under investigation.
The U.S. Navy has declined to confirm or deny whether the F-35C involved in today’s mishap fell into the South China Sea as a result or if it remained onboard the USS Carl Vinson.
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.