Pilot Goes Down Off Aircraft Carrier

(FreedomBeacon.com)- In November 2021, an RAF fighter pilot’s F-35 jet plunged into the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Egypt while taking off from the HMS Queen Elizabeth aircraft carrier. And now, that pilot’s harrowing experience is featured in the BBC’s new documentary “The Warship: Tour of Duty.”  

In the documentary, the RAF pilot, known as Hux, describes the moment he escaped from the F-15 after a malfunction on the carrier runway caused the plane to lose power and plunge into the water. 

According to Hux, after the emergency power failed, he tried the brakes but they didn’t work. Knowing the jet was about to roll off the ship, Hux activated the ejector seat just seconds before the F-15 hit the water. Cellphone footage of the incident shows the explosion from the seat ejecting from the jet as it drops off the edge of the carrier. 

With his parachute deployed, Hux was able to drop onto the flight deck just a few feet from the edge, suffering only minor injuries in the accident, including cuts to his neck. 

The accident was caught by BBC cameras as they were filming the documentary. The film crew later interviewed Hux aboard the carrier after the incident. 

According to cameraman Chris Terrill, who filmed the BBC documentary, the response from the crew aboard was “extraordinary.” He said the aircraft might have been lost without the immediate response from the crew whose “training kicked in.” 

The wreckage of the F-15 was recovered from the bottom of the Mediterranean during a recovery operation that also involved the United States and Italy. 

The individual who filmed the cellphone footage of the accident was later arrested for publicly releasing footage of a sensitive operation. 

According to the BBC, an investigation into the incident found that the loss of power was likely caused by a rain cover being left on one of the F-15’s jet intakes. 

The BBC’s 6-part documentary on the HMS Queen Elizabeth follows the aircraft carrier on its 8-month, 49,000-mile maiden voyage to and from the Pacific Ocean.