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Leaked footage shows moment F35 jet crashes into sea and pilot ejects from aircraft
30 November 2021, 12:54 | Updated: 30 November 2021, 13:09
Leaked footage shows the moment a British F35 jet crashes into the Mediterranean sea and the pilot is forced to eject from the aircraft.
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The video, which appears to have been taken by a security camera on the aircraft carrier, shows the jet attempt to launch from a ramp, but instead of taking off it plunges into the sea below.
It is not clear from the video why the jet did not take off.
The fighter jet - which is estimated to be worth around £100m - crashed into the water on November 17 at around 10am UK time.
The pilot was forced to eject from the aircraft, and was safely returned to the HMS Queen Elizabeth.
The video footage captures the pilot's parachute floating down shortly after ejection.
A spokesperson for the Ministry of Defence (MoD) confirmed at the time they had been checked by medics, and added that an investigation had begun into the incident.
A British F35 pilot from HMS Queen Elizabeth ejected during routine flying operations in the Mediterranean this morning.— Ministry of Defence Press Office (@DefenceHQPress) November 17, 2021
The pilot has been safely returned to the ship and an investigation has begun, so it would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.
HMS Queen Elizabeth is the largest and most powerful vessel ever constructed for the Royal Navy, and it is capable of carrying up to 40 aircraft.
It has a four-acre flight deck as well as a state-of-the-art weaponry and communications system.
After the jet crashed into the sea there was a frantic search for it, with fears Russian forces could also be looking for it.
The Times quoted a Navy source as saying the Russians would be "foolish" not to be watching the zone where the fighter crashed.
The paper added that the US had been called in to assist the UK with the search, and that they were closer to finding it than Britain.