F-35 Aircraft Carrier Crashes in Flames in a New Video Leaked Online

F-35 Aircraft Carrier Crashes in Flames in a New Video Leaked Online

Social media videos posted over the weekend show an anti-aircraft weapon bursting into flames when it collides with the flight deck of a huge warship.

On January 24, the F-35C, the Navy's newest fighter, could be seen on a video monitor aboard the USS Carl Vinson, which was on operations in the South China Sea at the time.

Two different angles of the incident are shown, and both show the jet approaching the aircraft carrier. One close-up shows the plane smashing into the deck, bursting into flames, and spinning in front of the camera. Another angle captures the fiery wreck as it careens along the deck before sliding into the water.

As the $100 million fighter approaches, crew members yell "Wave off, wave off." The term is used for planes to abort landing attempts, accelerate, and fly around. However, the pilot is not given a warning in time to prevent a collision.

It's scary," Peter Layton, a former Royal Australian Air Force officer now at Griffith Asia Institute, said.

When the F-35 approached the carrier, Layton noted that the plane had control problems.

As the aircraft comes down, the pilot appears to have lost control and is experiencing oscillations.

Apparently the jet wasn't using an automatic landing system, the digital controls that help limit the number of times the pilot has to make a correction before the plane lands safely.

"It links up the flaps and throttles and gives the pilot some sort of display so he can monitor the system," Layton said. "This is a fairly new system developed from the F-35 program."

On the Vinson, it was the first operational deployment of the F-35C, which only entered service in 2019. A stealth fighter of the US Air Force, the F-35A, and a stealth fighter of the US Marine Corps, the F-35B, were already in service.

The US Navy confirmed the video's authenticity to CNN, but it hasn't released a cause yet.

In an email, Commander, Naval Air Forces spokesperson Cmdr. Zach Harrell stated that an unauthorized release of video footage of the F-35C Lightning II crash that occurred on Jan. 24 in the South China Sea has been detected. A Naval Air Forces investigation is currently underway into both the crash and the unauthorized release of the shipboard video footage.

It looks like a recording of the incident that was being replayed on the carrier when the recording was taken.

Layton explained that the US Navy videotapes every landing so it can analyze every pilot's landing.

During the first unauthorized video leak from the USS Carl Vinson, an F-35C is shown just before it crashes into the deck.

The second leak came from this video. It was less than a week after the crash that a video showed the plane on approach as well as a still image of it floating momentarily on the surface of the sea.

An ejected pilot and six others on the carrier were also injured in the crash.

In the video clip at the end, the crew responds to the incident within seconds by spraying the deck of the carrier with foam to prevent further damage.

In the days following the crash, Navy officials described the damage to the Carl Vinson as superficial and said it quickly returned to normal.
Additionally, they reported that efforts are underway to raise the wreckage of the stealth jet from the bottom of the ocean.

It'll probably be a complex operation, and it'll be watched by China, which claims almost all of the South China Sea.

Washington would want to keep the F-35C out of Beijing's hands since it contains some of the Navy's most advanced technologies.

China said it was aware a US Navy stealth fighter crashed in the South China Sea, but "didn't care about their plane."

Despite the Navy not saying where the crash took place, Beijing claims the vast majority of the waterway, and has backed up its claims by building reefs and islands.

In the South China Sea, the Chinese navy and coast guard maintain a constant presence.