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.
Esas fotos son del F35 de Ibiza. Atencion al tren izquierdo, va pinchado. pic.twitter.com/TmFnlpDX08
— Ⓜ️iste®️🟥🟨🟨🟥©️rome®️ (@makutis86) June 1, 2021
The above image shows what appears to be a punctured tyre but we’re awaiting confirmation on what actually happened.
En el parking lo tenemos sano y salvo. 😊 pic.twitter.com/HdPj2Ahz9u
— Salvi (@theberone) May 31, 2021
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.
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.