Tag: South China Sea
The video shows the F-35C suffering a ramp strike before bursting in flames and skidding off the deck.
Video footage from the USS Carl Vinson’s Pilot’s Landing Aid Television (PLAT) camera has just been leaked online, showing what happened to the F-35C of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 that crashed on January 24, 2022 and sunk in the South China Sea. In the days after the crash, a photo of the F-35C floating in the sea was leaked online, immediately followed by a video shot from the fantail and showing the last seconds before the touchdown. The U.S. Navy confirmed a few days later the authenticity of both the photo and video.
The video leaked today was posted on Reddit and shows both the PLAT camera video and another point of view from the aircraft carrier’s island. We can see the Lightning II coming in with a rapidly increasing sink rate just before the touchdown, which prompted the Landing Signal Officer (LSO) or “Paddles” to start screaming on the radio “power” and then “wave off, wave off” to instruct the pilot to abort the landing and go around immediately.
The next chilling moments, which according to the cameras happened at 16:30:30, show what seems to be a ramp strike or a very short and heavy landing. The quality of the video as it was recorded from a computer screen and the fact that it was recorded with some parallax do not give a very clear view. Either way, the aircraft hit very hard the ship, with the impact shredding off the main landing gear and causing the F-35 to bounce on the deck and hitting it nose-first, before starting to skid sideways while engulfed in flames.
As the aircraft carrier’s crew calls for the fire emergency, the video switches to the other camera, which shows the aftermath of the crash. The second camera’s footage begins as the LSO calls the pilot for more power on the final approach, before issuing the desperate “wave off”. The camera shows that the pilot bailed out as the aircraft went completely sideways in the middle of the deck and already engulfed in flames. The F-35 than proceeded out of control and fell straight in the sea, while some burning pieces flew towards other aircraft parked on the deck, with the emergency crew quickly intervening to put the fires out.
The user that posted the video on Reddit says that the video was not recorded by him/her, without specifying where it was obtained. The video shot from the fantail was first shared on Telegram, before becoming viral on Instagram and other socials. The U.S. Navy did not confirm the video’s authenticity yet, even if the footage appears to be consistent with the details about the incident that have surfaced so far.
Although there were many speculations concerning the root cause of the incident and how it unfolded, so far, no official statement has been released. The video adds some more evidence about what happened while the official investigation proceeds. Meanwhile, the U.S. Navy is working on the recovery of the 5th gen aircraft from the bottom of the sea.
The image shows the F-35C floating on water after falling from USS Carl Vinson.
An interesting image has been published on Reddit and across the various social networks on Jan. 27, 2022. It shows a pretty intact F-35C floating in the sea, with a missed canopy and ejection seat: the photograph, that appears to be genuine (although we can’t authenticate the image at this time), was allegedly taken after the Lightning II jet had fallen from USS Carl Vinson, following the landing mishap that occurred on on Jan. 24, 2022.
As we have already reported, the F-35C, belonging to the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147 and assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 suffered a landing mishap that forced the pilot to eject and injured 7 sailors.
Although there were many speculations concerning the root cause of the incident and how it unfolded, so far, no official statement has been released.
The shot was probably taken moments before the F-35C aircraft started to sink into the waters of South China Sea, where the U.S. Navy plans to recover it in order to prevent China or Russia from putting their hands on sensitive parts of the precious 5th generation aircraft.
— WarplanePorn (@warplane_porn) January 27, 2022
The leaked image (whose factual status could change in the future since, as explained, it can’t be verified) immediately brings back to the recent accident involving a British F-35B that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea after a failed take off from Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth, on Nov. 24, 2021. As you will probably remember, a video taken from one of the cameras pointed towards the flight deck and showing the incident, was leaked online. A male crew member of HMS Queen Elizabeth’s ship company was arrested for leaking the video online. In that mishap, the pilot successfully ejected and the airframe was recovered from the bottom of the sea: a photo of the wreckage of the F-35B recovered by a chartered salvage ship, was also leaked and started circulating online on Jan. 21, 2022.
It took two weeks to locate the wreck of the British F-35B and another week to bring it up, according to defence sources mentioned by British newspapers. As reported, the recovery effort was complicated by the location where the F-35 ditched, as it happened in open water with depths that can exceed, in some areas, over 3,000 meters (about 10,000 feet), and by rough sea conditions while the operations were taking place.
We don’t know how much effort the recovery of the U.S. Navy F-35C will require. But, as mentioned above, the sea service has already started the operations to retrieve the airframe so as to protect the technological secrets of its most advanced fighter.
H/T to @yo_arfi for the heads-up!
An F-35C had a “landing mishap” on the deck of USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea.
USNI News was first to report about an incident that forced an F-35C pilot to eject and injured 7 sailors on Jan. 24, 2022. The U.S. Navy later confirmed that an F-35C Lightning II, assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, had a landing mishap on deck while USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) was conducting routine flight operations in the South China Sea, on Jan. 24, 2022.
“An F-35C Lightning II, assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2, had a landing mishap on deck while USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) was conducting routine flight operations in the South China Sea, Jan. 24, 2022. The pilot 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 on-board 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,” says the official USN press release.
The root cause of the incident is under investigation; the naval service did not disclose additional details on the status of the aircraft.
Although the unit the F-35C belonged to was not disclosed, we know that the only squadron embarked aboard USS Carl Vinson and flying the F-35C, the Carrier Variant of the Lightning II 5th generation aircraft, are the “Argonauts” of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 147. In fact, Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is operating in the South China Sea along with the Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group: 10 U.S. Navy F-35Cs with the “Argonauts” based at NAS (Naval Air Station) Lemoore are embarked aboard USS Carl Vinson while 10 U.S. Marine Corps F-35Cs belonging to the “Black Knights” of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 314 (VMFA-314) from MCAS (Marine Corps Air Station) Miramar, California, are embarked on USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72), on the first Marine F-35C squadron’s deployment aboard a carrier.
The landing mishap aboard USS Carl Vinson comes few weeks after a British F-35B crashed into the Mediterranean Sea after a failed take-off from Royal Navy aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth. The pilot successfully ejected and the airframe was recovered from the bottom of the sea.