autoevolution

Leaked Video Shows F-35B Fighter Jet Dropping Off HMS Queen Elizabeth Launch Ramp, Sinking

Video of the incident in which a British Royal Navy F-35B fighter jet failed to launch at the end of the ramp, and just slipped off it and sunk into the Mediterranean has been leaked. It’s like that time you wanted to make a spectacular exit to make a point, and you stumbled and fell on your nose – but at a much greater cost and with the risk of a security breach.
Video of the moment an F-35B fighter jet fails to launch off HMS Queen Elizabeth and crashes into the sea has leaked 26 photos
Video of the moment an F-35B fighter jet fails to launch off HMS Queen Elizabeth and crashes into the sea has leakedVideo of the moment an F-35B fighter jet fails to launch off HMS Queen Elizabeth and crashes into the sea has leakedVideo of the moment an F-35B fighter jet fails to launch off HMS Queen Elizabeth and crashes into the sea has leakedVideo of the moment an F-35B fighter jet fails to launch off HMS Queen Elizabeth and crashes into the sea has leakedF-35A Lighting IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35 LightningF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIF-35A Lightning IIUSAF/Staff Sgt. Jeremy McGuffinF-15E Strike EaglesF-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15F-15
The incident occurred on November 17, 2021, in the Mediterranean, as carrier ship HMS Queen Elizabeth was making its way back home after the maiden voyage to the Far East. HMS Queen Elizabeth carries several F-35s warplanes from allies UK and the U.S., but the fleet is now one bird short.

The Ministry of Defense confirmed the incident in mid-November, saying an investigation into the causes was underway. One theory making the rounds was that a rain cover near the launch pad had gotten sucked into the engine of the aircraft, which prevent a successful takeoff. The plane, which is laden with technology and gear and has been estimated to have cost £100 million ($134 million), is still underwater and has not been retrieved.

A 16-second grainy video of the incident has emerged and, according to SkyNews, it’s authentic and it seems to confirm the theory of what happened. It shows the exact moment of the launch, with the F-35B warcraft heading toward the launch pad and then up on it, but failing to generate enough thrust for liftoff. At the end of the ramp, it simply slides off it and down into the water. The pilot is seen floating on the surface shortly afterwards, after ejecting. He only received minor injuries.

This is the first time any one of the UK’s 24 F-35s is involved in an incident of any kind. In a statement released hours after the video leak, the Ministry of Defense said they were “aware” of its existence and investigating the possible leak.



Editor's note: Gallery shows other F-35s and F-15s.

 
 
 
 
 

Would you like AUTOEVOLUTION to send you notifications?

You will only receive our top stories