F-35C prepares to launch
A F-35C prepares to launch from the USS Abraham Lincoln. Marine Corps photo

Seven U.S. military personnel were hurt Monday when an F-35C Lightning II stealth jet experienced a “landing mishap” on the deck of the San Diego-based aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson, the Navy reported.

A Navy statement said the incident occurred during “routine flight operations” in the South China Sea.

“The pilot safely ejected from the aircraft and was recovered via U.S. military helicopter,” it said. “The pilot is in stable condition. There were seven total Sailors injured.”

The statement said three of personnel required evacuation to a medical facility in Manila and four were treated aboard the carrier and released. It said all the personnel evacuated were assessed as being in stable condition.

The Navy said the cause of the “inflight mishap” was under investigation.

The F-35C jet is the most advanced aircraft used by the Navy and Marine Corps. The Navy did not say which service flew the jet involved in the accident..

The Pentagon said two carrier strike groups, led by the Carl Vinson and USS Abraham Lincoln began operations in the South China Sea on Sunday.

The carriers entered the disputed sea for training as Taiwan reported a new Chinese air force incursion at the top of the waterway.

Reuters contributed to this article.

Chris Jennewein

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.