Sky News reports that a British F35 jet from the UK’s flagship aircraft carrier has crashed into the Mediterranean while flying and the pilot has ejected in the first such incident to impact HMS Queen Elizabeth.
According to the initial reports, there was no hostile action involved. An investigation will likely focus on potential technical or human error.
The pilot, part of the crew on HMS Queen Elizabeth, has been safely returned to the ship, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) said in a brief statement.
A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: “A British F35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flying operations in the Mediterranean this morning. 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.”
There are eight UK F-35s on the carrier and 12 from the US Marine Corps.
Photo (FILE) People take photos as the F-35B aircraft lands at Akrotiri Royal air forces base near city of Limassol, Cyprus, 21 May 2019. Six F35-B Lightning warplanes, Britain’s newest fighter, arrived at a British air base on Cyprus to carry out training and a systems test in the aircraft’s first overseas deployment. EPA-EFE/Petros Karadjias / POOL