New Leaked Video Shows F-35 Crash on the Deck of USS Carl Vinson
An unknown insider has leaked a video of the crash of an F-35C stealth fighter jet aboard the carrier USS Carl Vinson last month, prompting the U.S. Navy to launch a search for the source. In a statement to Navy Times, a Naval Air Forces spokesperson did not dispute its authenticity and said that it was an "unauthorized release of video footage from flight deck cameras."
The video feed from the carrier's in-deck Pilot's Landing Aid Television (PLAT) appears to show the F-35 approaching the carrier's stern too low and slow. In accompanying audio, an air traffic controller can be heard shouting at the pilot to take action and "wave off" the landing attempt. Seconds later, the rear of the plane strikes the ramp at the carrier's stern, and the wrecked aircraft skids down the length of the deck and over the edge of the bow. After a splash, another voice can be heard saying "pilot in the water."
"What you see as the aircraft gets close to landing on the aircraft carrier is there is a big 'settle.' You can see that it's losing energy and it's dropping very quickly. Something in here is going wrong," said Col. Stephen Ganyard (USMC, ret'd), speaking to ABC.
The video's authenticity has been confirmed by the Navy and the Pentagon. It broadly aligns with an earlier cell phone video of the plane's final approach (below), which the Navy has already confirmed as an authentic record.
Seven crewmembers (including the pilot) were injured in the casualty, and three had to be medevaced to the Philippines for treatment. The Vinson was undamaged and normal operations have resumed, but the Navy is working to salvage the high-tech components of the plane's wreckage before any near-peer competitors can get an unauthorized look at the jet's technology.
"China will try to locate and survey it thoroughly using submarines and one of its deep diving submersibles," said Carl Schuster, former director of operations at Pacific Command's Joint Intelligence Center, speaking to CNN.