Unconfirmed footage of the British F-35 that crashed into the Mediterranean Sea on November 17, 2021, has emerged on social media.
Well thank God he is still with us! That’s all I can say. pic.twitter.com/YtL6f0BFAm— Seb H (@sebh1981) November 29, 2021
The leaked video shows a fighter advancing slowly towards the ski-ramp of an aircraft carrier before falling overboard, prompting the pilot to eject.
The footage has not been authenticated but does match reports of the incident, which took place on the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier. Initial reports stated that a British F-35B crashed into the Mediterranean Sea. The pilot managed to eject from the aircraft in time and was later recovered.
While the investigation is still ongoing to determine the cause of the crash, an early hypothesis suggests that one intake cover might have been left on the aircraft and ingested by the engine, causing it to fail. The British fleet of F-35Bs was not grounded following the incident, which tends to support the theory of an isolated mishap.
Fearing that a competing nation such as Russia could recover critical technology, the United Kingdom and its North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) partners are now rushing to recover the wreckage. It is not clear whether it has already been successfully retrieved.