An F-35 jet launched from HMS Queen Elizabeth has had to conduct an emergency landing in Ibiza as a precautionary measure.

The aircraft, apparently incorrectly showing as a Dutch F-35 on a popular flight racking website was operating from HMS Queen Elizabeth. The aircraft carrier and her Carrier Strike Group are currently at sea in the area.

The above image shows what appears to be a punctured tyre but we’re awaiting confirmation on what actually happened.

Is there cause for concern?

No, not really.

I asked a naval source about this, he told me:

“If it’s literally just the puncture it’s a safety thing. Being cautious with a $150m dollar aircraft. Why land on a small deck when you can a large runway etc. These things happen and will again. The jet is down safely. That’s the main thing. If I had to make a guess, a merlin will fly out with parts/engineers and fix the issue so can rejoin the ship. Not the first time won’t be the last.”

The commentator added:

“But we can see the jet is intact, the wheel is punctured. It may not be the puncture that’s caused the diversion and that could have happened on landing. Pilots will know where the local airports are re having to divert. And as said it’s much safer to land at a large runway with all the facilities and emergency services if you have a sniff of a incident. They made the right call.”

What is the Carrier Strike Group doing?

HMS Queen Elizabeth is the deployed flag ship for Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21), a deployment that will see the ship and her escorts sail to the Asia-Pacific and back.

CSG21 will see the ship along with the Strike Group work with over 40 countries from around the world. The Strike Group will operate and exercise with other countries Navies and Air Forces during the 7 month deployment.

Image Crown Copyright 2021.

The Strike Group includes ships from the United States Navy, the Dutch Navy, and Marines from the US Marine Corps. As well as British Frigates, Destroyers two RFA supply ships and air assets from 617 Sqn, 820 NAS, 815 NAS and 845 NAS.

This is the largest deployment of Fifth Generation Fighter Jets at sea in history.

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David
David
15 days ago

Sensible precaution. Not as embarrassing as the “lost” Sea Harrier that landed on a Spanish container ship!

julian1
julian1
15 days ago
Reply to  David

that was legendary. It found its way back to Yeovilton safely to fly another day!

David
David
15 days ago
Reply to  julian1

Yup, and now at Newark Air Museum…..

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
15 days ago
Reply to  David

I’m not sure why ‘plane lands safely at an airport’ is embarrassing to anyone?

Every single plane with a sane pilot has diverts for all kinds of things.

‘Plane crashes and is written off due to skidding on deck’, that would be embarrassing. Very.

Good call by all. As all that is left is a fixable problem.

DRS
DRS
15 days ago

Glad went well, I am sure the pilot will get a ribbing that he just wanted to go there to party v’s return to the carrier.  😀  Do we know if it did a vertical landing or a short field/normal landing?

QuentinD63
QuentinD63
15 days ago
Reply to  DRS

Where would they get a spare tyre from? Are they a NATO standardised item?

julian1
julian1
15 days ago
Reply to  QuentinD63

would they need special jacks or equipment to lift it – presumably yes. I guess they have field/expeditionary equipment available

Jonty
Jonty
8 days ago
Reply to  julian1

Just change it in the hover!

TrevorH
TrevorH
15 days ago
Reply to  QuentinD63

In the boot? Or do they have one of those compressor thingies. When will the AA turn up?

on topic – If it’s mechanical it will surely take some time to get parts and mechanics there.

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
15 days ago
Reply to  QuentinD63

As the article indicated it is likely to be flown in from the carrier by Merlin along with USMC engineers and the tools required for the job. Might mean the carrier has to close with the coast or loiter in the area so that the Merlin, in particular, can make the round trip. The point is if you fly any aircraft long enough you will have some kind of incident. It is the natue of machines. When I was flying I had to declare one urgency and one emergency, both for a spluttering engine – made for good stories in… Read more »

geoff
geoff
14 days ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Morning CR. Did you fly Harriers?

dan
dan
14 days ago
Reply to  QuentinD63

Discount Tires? lol

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
14 days ago
Reply to  QuentinD63

All the kit and spares they need will be on the carrier. A team will fly out in a Merlin, fix the jet, and off you go. Happened many times during the Harrier day’s. Totally routine.

Nic
Nic
14 days ago
Reply to  QuentinD63

On a recent programme about the CSG it was said that they had every spare part including a engine for the F-35 So I would think that a merlin was dispatched with the wheel changing crew .

Billythefish
Billythefish
15 days ago

June in Ibiza? Don’t mind if I do! 😅 

Nick C
Nick C
15 days ago
Reply to  Billythefish

Reminds me of when the Hawk first went into service, many moons ago. The students reckoned that if you took off with full tanks and did an hours training sortie the furthest divert airfield was Nice. Very tempting I’m sure!

Mark
Mark
15 days ago
Reply to  Billythefish

Will they have to quarantine for 14 days on return?

dan
dan
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark

Pretty sure the pilot is fully vaccinated.

Mike
Mike
15 days ago

There are worse places to divert too, I hope the pilot had their civi’s rolled up in a bag with them and ready to go.

Rob
Rob
15 days ago

At least he didn’t park it on a containership like in 1983…

AndrewY
AndrewY
15 days ago

Malfunction of the jet exhaust system can necessitate a conventional landing, always a calculated risk

dan
dan
14 days ago

Lucky bastard! Gets to spend some time in Ibiza. Have fun Marine!

Airborne
Airborne
14 days ago

Right that’s it, there you go, that proves the carriers should have been been cats and traps, he wouldn’t have to have to divert if the 4th phalanx was fitted (and CAAM) and they are far to big, if we had 4 smaller carriers he would have been ok and I blame the yanks on board, would have been ok if it was just Brit aircraft on board……shall I go on….😂

Robert Blay.
Robert Blay.
14 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

😅🤣

Ian M.
Ian M.
14 days ago
Reply to  Airborne

  :wpds_wink: 

Johan
Johan
12 days ago

the puncture was not the cause of divet. suffered a lack of lift control, the puncture was the result of full speed landing.