British Accident is the Third Crash Involving F-35B Jet

  • Our Bureau
  • 06:28 AM, November 18, 2021
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British Accident is the Third Crash Involving F-35B Jet

A British F-35B fighter crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on Wednesday, making it the third such incident involving the aircraft.

Pilot of the jet ejected safely. He has been picked up and returned safely to the carrier.

“A British F-35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flying operations in the Mediterranean this morning,” the U.K. Ministry of Defense said in a statement. “The pilot has been safely returned to the ship and an investigation has begun, so it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

An investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing, the MoD added.

The F-35B short-take-off, vertical-landing (STOVL) jet was one of eight British aircraft deployed on the Queen Elizabeth as it returned from a deployment in the Far East. Ten U.S. Marine F-35Bs are also deployed on the carrier.

The ill-fated aircraft is one of 24 so far delivered to the British, who have 48 jets so far but have pledged to purchase 138.

The first crash ever of an F-35 jet involved the B- variant. It occurred in September 2018 when a U.S.M.C. F-35B crashed near South Carolina due to a faulty fuel tube. The pilot ejected safely. Another accident involving this variant took place two years later in September 2020. A U.S.M.C. F-35B fighter jet crashed in Imperial County, California, after colliding with a Marine Corps KC-130 during air-to-air refuelling. The F-35B pilot was injured in the ejection, and the KC-130 crash-landed gear up in a field.

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