NAS NORTH ISLAND, SAN DIEGO – An F-35C has crashed on the deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) on Monday in the South China Sea, NBC 7 San Diego reports. The accident happened as the fighter jet was attempting to land on the aircraft carrier during a routine flight, injuring 7 sailors, including 3 who had to be flown off the USS Carl Vinson to a hospital.
The F-35C Lightning II is assigned to Carrier Air Wing 2 and was conducting routine flight operations in the South China Sea, when the accident occurred. The pilot was injured, but was able to safely eject and is in stable condition, according to a Navy release.
The pilot and two sailors were flown to a hospital in Manila, Philippines and are now in stable condition. Four sailors were treated aboard USS Carl Vinson.
“The status and recovery of the aircraft is currently under investigation,” Navy spokesperson Lt. Mark Langford told NBC 7 San Diego.
The accident occurred as the USS Carl Vinson is operating as part of U.S. Pacific Fleet, conducting training to preserve and protect a free and open Indo-Pacific region. The aircraft carrier deployed from NAS North Island in San Diego last August after undergoing a $367 million retrofit to accommodate the F-35C Lightning II.
Head image: An F-35C Lightning II – assigned to the “Argonauts” of VFA-147 – launches off the flight deck of USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) on January 20, 2022 (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Larissa T. Dougherty)
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