Pilot discusses dramatic ejection from F-35 moments before it slid into the sea

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A RAF pilot has revealed how he was able to eject from his F-35 fighter jet moments before the aircraft slid into the sea.

Known only as Hux, the pilot made the disclosure in a documentary on the BBC called The Warship: Tour of Duty.

In footage shot by the filmmakers shortly after he was rescued back in November 2021 but only now being televised, Hux said he knew he was in trouble when nothing in his jet seemed to work.

“I tried for emergency power, that didn’t work, then I tried to slap on the brakes, that didn’t work either […] so I kind of knew it was going to roll off the ship,” he told the BBC.

The danger for the RAF pilot was not immediately over after he ejected from the $120million fighter jet, as he risked being swamped by the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier if he fell into the sea.

“I could see the flight deck of the ship starting to appear beneath me,” he explained and then managed to land on the carrier by just a “few feet”.

Hux suffered only minor injuries during the episode and the RAF was able to recover the plane from the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Egypt.

An investigation into the incident found that the loss of power was probably caused by a cover left on a jet intake.

The Warship: Tour of Duty is a six-part documentary following HMS Queen Elizabeth’s return journey to the Pacific last year.

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Ian Molyneaux
Journalist[br][br] Ian joined AeroTime in February 2023 after working as a journalist in London, UK. He has also previously worked for a business aviation events organizer and has a master's degree in journalism. Ian is based in Brighton, UK.
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