Fighter jet ripped off deck of aircraft carrier in unexpected heavy weather


An F/A-18 Super Hornet fighter jet fell into Mediterranean waters from the deck of the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier Friday, the Navy said in a statement released Sunday.

The Super Hornet, which was assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1, was thrown overboard “due to unexpected heavy weather” while the ship was refueling at sea, the statement added. Navy aircraft have been known to crash into water during takeoff or landing; losing an aircraft in rough seas is unusual.

Generally, there is a procedure for securing aircraft to the deck with chains in heavy weather. And the carrier has a number of airbrush mates – sailors trained in weather analysis and forecasting – stationed aboard the ship.

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The Navy said “the details and cause of the incident are being investigated.”

One of the last known incidents of a plane being torn from a cockpit occurred in 1995, but it wasn’t due to rough seas. In April of that year, an F-14 Tomcat fighter aboard the USS Independence blew up another Tomcat in the water with the exhaust from its jet engine.

A Marine Service spokesman said the Navy is considering whether to rescue the Super Hornet from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, although it certainly has the capability.

In March, the Navy recovered an F-35C Lightning II fighter from 12,000 feet of water that crashed on the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson in January, before sliding and sinking in the South China Sea. southern. The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 4,900 feet.

Friday’s incident does not appear to have resulted in any injuries, although the Navy said a sailor suffered minor injuries while “conducting operations during the unexpected heavy weather.” They are in stable condition and should make a full recovery.

The Navy emphasized that the Truman “and carrier-based aircraft remain full [sic] capable of fulfilling its mission” despite the loss of an aircraft.

— Konstantin Toropin can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @ktoropin.

Related: Navy recovers sunken F-35 plane that crashed from aircraft carrier deck in South China Sea

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