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.
Well thank God he is still with us! That’s all I can say. pic.twitter.com/YtL6f0BFAm
— Seb H (@sebh1981) November 29, 2021
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.”
British Carrier-Based F-35 Jet Crashes in Mediterranean, Pilot Safe https://t.co/T1xdSUtRLp
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 17, 2021