An F-35C warplane experienced a ‘landing incident’ on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea on Monday, injuring seven US military personnel, according to the US Navy.
The incident occurred during ‘regular flight operations in the South China Sea, according to a Navy statement.
‘The pilot successfully jumped from the plane and was rescued by a US military chopper,’ the statement stated. ‘The pilot appears to be in good health. A total of seven Sailors were hurt.’
Three of the crew required to be evacuated to a medical centre in Manila, according to the statement, while the remaining four were treated on board the carrier and later discharged. According to the statement, all of the personnel who were evacuated were found to be in stable health.
The cause of the ‘inflight mishap’ is being investigated, according to the Navy.
Lockheed Martin manufactures the F-35 fighter jet.
Two US Navy Carrier Strike Groups, led by the USS Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln, began operations in the South China Sea on Sunday, according to the Pentagon. As Taiwan reported a new Chinese air force invasion near the top of the strait, the carriers entered the disputed sea for exercise.