Crashed British F-35 Never Managed Takeoff, Dropped into the Water

British servicemen stand next to a F-35B fighter jet after landing on the flight deck of UK Carrier Strike Groups HMS Queen Elizabeth in the Arabian Sea, off Mumbai coast on October 21, 2021. (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP) (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)

Footage leaked and reported by several British media outlets show a British F-35B fighter jet failing to take off from the supercarrier HMS Queen Elizabeth and dropping into the Mediterranean.

Reports from November 17th stated that the Lockheed-Martin aircraft had been on routine operation when it crashed into the sea, leading to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to open an investigation into the non-fatal incident.

Video shared on social media and reported by the BBC on Tuesday appeared to show the £100 million aircraft travelling along the Queen Elizabeth’s flight deck before noticeably slowing at the end of the ski-ramp and simply dropping into the water.

Moments before the plane dropped, the pilot can be seen being ejected. He was recovered safely, but searches for the F-35 are ongoing.

The broadcaster says it appears the film was taken from a surveillance camera on the carrier itself, but the MoD said it was too soon to comment on the footage.

Aerospace and defence analyst Howard Wheeldon told The Telegraph: “There is a saying in the military ‘lift is a gift, thrust is a must’, and I’m afraid clearly he had no thrust.

“It is a short take off, but they need that ramp to assist them and clearly the pilot has insufficient power to get him into the air properly.”


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