An F-35C Lightning II had a landing mishap on the flight deck of Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) as the ship was conducting routine flight operations in the South China Sea on January 24, the US Navy has announced.
The pilot safely ejected from the aircraft and was recovered via an embarked military helicopter.
The pilot from Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 2 is in stable condition.
While the navy did not reveal the fate of the F-35C, it did say that seven sailors have been injured in the incident. Three sailors required medical evacuation 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, the service said.
The fact that seven sailors were injured could point to an arresting cable mishap, but this is yet to be determined.
The navy said that additional details and the cause of the inflight mishap is under investigation.
USS Carl Vinson is underway in the South China Sea as the first US aircraft carrier to deploy with the “advanced wing of the future” which includes the F-35C and the new CMV-22B Osprey, the new carrier onboard delivery aircraft.
Prior to the mishap, USS Carl Vinson was taking part in dual carrier operations in the South China Sea with USS Abraham Lincoln.