US recovers lost fighter jet

A US F-18 that ‘blew overboard’ into the ocean last month was brought up from a depth of 2,900 meters

The US Navy has successfully recovered an F-18 Super Hornet lost at sea due to “heavy weather,” after the fighter jet was blown off the deck of an aircraft carrier and sank thousands of meters beneath the Mediterranean. 

The US 6th Fleet said the F/A-18E Super Hornet was found and brought back up to the surface on Monday, “recovered from a depth of approximately 9,500 feet [2,900 meters]” by a Navy salvage diving team.

“The search and recovery took less than 24 hours, a true testament to the team’s dedication and capability,” said Lt. Cmdr. Miguel Lewis, a salvage officer on the mission, adding that the recovery was done “safely and efficiently.” 

The 6th Fleet noted the craft was brought to a “nearby military installation” and would soon be transported back to the United States.

The Navy initially reported that a Super Hornet carried aboard the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier “blew overboard” due to “unexpected heavy weather” during a replenishment mission in the Mediterranean on July 8. It offered few other details about the incident at the time, but noted one sailor had received “minor injuries” and that the remainder of the Truman carrier’s aircraft remained “full mission capable.”

The same type of fighter jet was involved in a crash in the Mojave Desert in Southern California earlier this summer which left one Navy airman dead. The deceased pilot was identified as Lt. Richard Bullock, assigned to a Strike Fighter Squadron based out of Naval Air Station Lemoore in California, and officials say the crash is still under investigation.

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