The US Navy is reportedly investigating the source of leaked footage which shows a Lockheed Martin F-35C crashing into the ocean after striking the deck of the USS Carl Vinson on January 24.
The grainy footage shows two angles of the crash, one from a camera embedded in the carrier’s deck, and the other from the island superstructure. Both angles appear to show the aircraft from VFA 147 undershoot the landing and the strike the ramp at the rear of the carrier deck, while the landing signal officer screams “wave off, wave off!”.
The aircraft hits the deck hard and bounces on the main gear, the left main gear collapses, and the aircraft slews sideways, rotates 180 degrees, and ignites as it travels along the deck, before plunging off the side of angled landing area into the South China Sea.
Fire crews are seen to quickly douse the angled deck with water or fire suppression foam, although there doesn’t appear to be any fire on the deck itself.
The pilot ejected safely and was rescued, and he and seven crew members were treated for injuries before three of the crew were transferred to The Philippines for further treatment. All are reportedly in a stable condition, and recovery efforts of the wreckage are reportedly underway.
The leaked video can be viewed here.