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F-35C That Crashed Into South China Sea Deemed Pilot Error

On Jan. 24, 2022, an F-35C Lightening II crashed into the South China Sea after a ramp strike aboard the USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70). The cause of the crash was deemed pilot error, as the report stated the pilot "did not realize a built-in aid that helped control the plane’s power during landing was switched off. The F-35C made an underpowered approach to the carrier," per the USNI News. There wasn't enough time for the pilot to arrest the descent to the carrier deck, causing the jets nose gear to strike the back of the flight deck, causing the nose gear to collapse, as well as the main landing gear. The jets momentum carried it across the flight deck, and eventually into the Sea. Flying debris injured 5 sailors, and the pilot was injured during ejection. Due to the crash, the pilot of the F-35 was removed from flight status but remains in the service. The crash caused $120,000 in damage to the flight deck, an additional $2.5 million in damage to an EA-18G Growler on the deck, and ~$90 million if the F-35 was a total loss.

Full report can be found here - F-35C Lightening II Crash Report

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