The F-35C Joint Strike Fighter jet “had a landing mishap on deck while USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) was conducting routine flight operations” on Jan. 24, according to a statement from the Navy.
“The pilot safely ejected from the aircraft and was recovered via U.S. military helicopter,” according to the statement. “The pilot is in stable condition. There were seven total Sailors injured.”
Three of the sailors were evacuated to a medical facility in Manila, Philippines. They are now in stable condition. Four other sailors were treated on board, three of whom have been released.
“Additional details and the cause of the inflight mishap is under investigation,” the Navy said.
The Pentagon said two U.S. Navy 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 report.