A leaked video of a US Air Force F-35C fighter jet crashing into an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea on January 24th, 2022, has gone viral online.
The shocking footage shows the exact moment the stealth fighter hits the flight deck of the USS Carlson before bursting into flames and skidding into the sea.
What is the F-35C fighter jet?
The F-35C stealth fighter is the “most sophisticated aircraft ever built”, according to ABC News.
The $100 million jet is designed for warfare – the US Navy’s first “low observable” carrier-based aircraft can go undetected in enemy territory.
It has the most powerful fighter engine in the world, as per the BBC, and can reach speeds of 1,200mph. Its large wings and landing gear make it suitable for “catapult launches”.
The cause of the crash has yet to be confirmed as the US Navy carries out an investigation. However, the leaked footage does allow investigators to view the crash from different perspectives.
Naval Air Forces officials confirmed there had been an unauthorised release of video footage from flight deck cameras aboard Vinson.
“There is an ongoing investigation into both the crash and the unauthorised release of the shipboard video footage,” commander Zachary Harrell said in a statement.
The video shows the pilot eject from the single-passenger aircraft and the Navy Times reports he’s one of three men being treated for injuries in the Philippines although seven sailors were injured in total.
It has yet to be confirmed where the leaked video originates from but it was shared on Reddit, which is where the footage went viral.
The Pentagon has confirmed the video is authentic.
Aviation contributor Col Stephen Ganyard told ABC News: “What you see is, as the aircraft gets close to landing on the aircraft carrier, there’s a big settle and you can see it’s losing energy and it’s dropping very quickly. Something in here is going wrong.”
Explained Trending – HITC Know What Happened – Pilot escapes as F-35 jet crashes into South China sea, video confirmed