7 Sailors Injured in Accident Involving F-35C Landing on USS Carl Vinson

The accident happened as the fighter jet was attempting to land on San Diego-based USS Carl Vinson during a routine flight, the Navy said

An F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 101, based at Eglin Air Force Base in Fort Walton Beach, Florida, takes off at Naval Air Station Key West’s Boca Chica Field November 2. VFA-101 is at NAS Key West to train and qualify F-35C aircrew and maintenance professionals to operate safely and effectively as part of a Carrier Strike Group at sea. NAS Key West is a state-of-the-art facility for air-to-air combat fighter aircraft of all military services and provides world-class pierside support to U.S. and foreign naval vessels. (U.S. Navy Photo by Petty Officer 2nd Class Cody R. Babin/Released 2016)
U.S. Navy

An accident involving a fighter jet attempting to land on the deck of USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea injured seven sailors, including three who had to be flown off the ship to a hospital, the Navy announced Monday.

The accident involved an F-35C Lightning II, which the Navy calls the world's most advanced fighter jet, and the jet's pilot was injured but able to safely eject, according to the Navy.

The accident happened during routine flight operations, the Navy said.

"The status and recovery of the aircraft is currently under investigation," Navy spokesperson Lt. Mark Langford told NBC 7.

The pilot and two sailors were flown off the ship to a hospital in Manila, Philippines, and Langford said all three are now considered stable.

Four more sailors were treated on the ship and are also considered stable, Lt. Langford said.

USS Carl Vinson deployed from San Diego last August after undergoing a $367 million retrofit so it could accommodate the F-35C Lightning II.

The most advanced fighter jet on the planet is just in San Diego County’s backyard. NBC 7’s Steven Luke shows you an up-close and personal look at the F-35C.
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