US Navy F-35 crash: 5 sailors accused of leaking footage

Associated PressUpdated: Friday, February 18, 2022, 11:30 AM IST
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A US Navy F-35C strike fighter being refueled on the deck of an aircraft carrier | Twitter/@FHAeromedia

San Diego (US): Five sailors have been charged with violating military law over leaked video showing an F-35 fighter jet crashing on an aircraft carrier in the South China Sea last month, the Navy said Thursday.

An ensign, three chief petty officers and a senior chief petty officer were charged under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the Navy said in a statement to KGTV-TV in San Diego. Their names weren't released.

Article 92 involves disobeying a lawful order or regulation or being derelict in performance of duty.

The Navy also said the case involved the unauthorized release of shipboard video that appeared online this month and showed the F-35C Lightning II hitting the deck of the San Diego-based USS Carl Vinson wing-first, and then skating off the deck into the water on January 24.

The pilot ejected and was injured along with six sailors. The cause of the crash has been under investigation.

The wreckage of the multimillion-dollar aircraft hasn't been recovered yet.

The aircraft carrier had superficial damage and was able to resume operations, the Navy has said. The Carl Vinson and its strike group returned to San Diego on Feb. 14 after an eight-month deployment.

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