Navy confirms leaked video of F-35 crash on carrier in South China Sea

The Navy on Monday confirmed the authenticity of leaked video showing an F-35 fighter jet crashing on the USS Carl Vinson and then falling into the South China Sea.

The Navy said last month that an F-35C Lighting II had a “landing mishap” on deck while conducting flight operations for the Carl Vinson in January.

A one-minute clip of the incident was leaked online and began appearing on several social media outlets, according to The Daily Mail.

The video, which The Daily Mail published, appeared to be shot from a computer monitor showing the incident.

Cmdr. Zachary Harrell, a spokesman for Naval Air Forces, confirmed to The Hill that the video was from the crash and that an investigation was ongoing into the leaked footage.

“We are aware that there has been an unauthorized release of video footage from flight deck cameras onboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) of the F-35C Lightning II crash that occurred Jan. 24, in the South China Sea,” Harrell said in a statement. “There is an ongoing investigation into both the crash and the unauthorized release of the shipboard video footage.”


In the short video, screaming can be heard as the plane suddenly loses stability and slams onto the deck of the USS Carl Vinson. Later on in the video, the plane, which had burst into flames, is shown violently landing on the deck before sliding into the South China Sea.

The Navy previously said that the pilot, who was able to eject from the plane before it crashed, was one of seven sailors injured as a result of the mishap.

Three of the injured sailors required treatment at a medical facility in the Philippines, and the other four were treated on board by medical personnel.

The U.S. Pacific Fleet said at the time that the Navy was working to salvage the plane, though it was unclear at the time where exactly it landed.

Updated: 3 p.m.

Tags South China Sea USS Carl Vinson

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