U.S. Navy Pilot Ejects From F-35 During Landing Mishap in South China Sea

by Matthew Memrick
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A U.S. Navy pilot ejected from his F-35 during a landing accident in the South China Sea on Monday.

While the pilot “safely ejected” and is in stable condition, seven sailors on deck were injured. Officials sent three to a Manila, Phillippines medical facility.

Plane Accident Happened During Normal Exercises

U.S. Navy officials made the Monday announcement, saying the accident occurred during routine flight operations.

In the announcement made to USNI News, the Navy announced the Manila facility released the three service members.

Other details about the mishap and the status of the aircraft were not available. Reportedly, the ship was drilling in an operation with the Carl Vinson and Abraham Lincoln carrier strike groups.

Task and Purpose reported that naval officials sent the carrier to the region in August. The ship has worked with the USS Abraham Lincoln, the USS America, USS Essex, and the Japan Maritime Self Defense Force elements over the past few months.

In November, Task and Purpose via The War Zone reported another recent place accident on the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth.

A British F-35B plane crashed during takeoff, with the pilot safely ejecting in that incident. Officials later recovered the aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea.

U.S. Navy Likes Costly F-35C Plane

Earlier last year, Popular Mechanics reported that one F-35C plane costs in the neighborhood of $110 million.

Sandboxx reports that the military likes this specific plane because it has a sturdier frame, tail hook, and improved landing gear to withstand the tremendous forces caused when landing on an aircraft carrier. 

The report mentioned The U.S. Navy’s plans to buy about 270 F-35Cs and the Marine Corps an additional 67. Over time, the Department of Defense has plans to buy about 2,500 F-35s for approximately $400 billion.

Additionally, the government wants to operate these costly planes for 66 years. Some reports suggest they will cost around $1.3 trillion in repairs during that time

In 1916, the U.S. Navy’s first purchased plane was the Curtiss N-9. The government bought it for $6,000 at that time. According to Popular Mechanics, the military purchased 531 planes on armored cruisers. However, these tactical planes could not be armed. They went on scout missions and used only for 12 years.

USS Carl Vinson, Abraham Lincoln Ships Have A History

Several events have brought the USS Carl Vinson to the attention of national and international countries.

In 2011, the U.S. Navy ship hosted the first NCAA basketball game between North Carolina and Michigan State in San Diego. A month earlier, terrorist Osama bin Laden’s body was buried at sea after American military personnel took it there for an Indian Ocean water burial.

As for the Abraham Lincoln, Capt. Amy Bauernschmidt took the carrier out of San Diego, becoming the first woman to lead a nuclear carrier in U.S. Navy history

Outsider.com