British F35 jet CRASHES in the Mediterranean: RAF Pilot on £100m jet from UK’s flagship aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth is forced to eject during routine operation
A UK F-35B Lightning II stealth jet has crashed into the Mediterranean sea while on patrol with the UK’s flagship HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The pilot ejected from the stealth jet which crashed into the sea.
The MoD has confirmed the pilot has been safely returned to the aircraft carrier and a full investigation has been launched.
It is the first time the UK has lost an F-35.
According to the MoD: ‘A British F35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected juring 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.’
This is the first time the UK has lost one of the £100m fifth-generation stealth jets.
The aircraft was one of eight UK fast-jets onboard the Royal Navy’s flagship.
There are also 10 US F-35Bs on the carrier, which has spent seven months at sea on its first operational patrol.
It is not known yet whether the wreckage has been recovered as air crash investigators will want to know what caused the jet to crash.
The stealth jet’s pilot will be debriefed, but investigators will want to test the aircraft’s complicated computer systems and high-tech control surfaces to see if these contributed to the crash.
Several US F35s have been involved in crashes, with one Marine Corps jet clipping a refuelling aircraft.
More to follow.
A British F-35B Lightning II stealth jet has crashed into the Mediterranean sea while on patrol with HMS Queen Elizabeth (file photo)