A Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet fighter crashed into the ocean and the pilot ejected unharmed while on approach to land on the USS Carl Vinson, the aircraft carrier that was briefly confused to have been off the coast of the Korean Peninsula during North Korea’s failed missile test last weekend, but wasn’t.
The U.S. Navy reported the crash on Friday, claiming the Super Hornet was returning from routine flight operations, crashing before it could land on the USS Carl Vinson. The pilot ejected and was rescued unharmed from the Celebes Sea, just south of the Philippines, according to Fox News.
The incident, either ironically or conveniently, pinpoints the location of the aircraft carrier that was the topic of international discussion and debate just a few days ago for its unclear positioning during a tense weekend between the U.S. and North Korea.
The confusion was caused by a series of reports from multiple government officials and agencies issuing varying details of the exact location, orders, and strategy of the USS Carl Vinson on its Pacific deployment during North Korea’s failed test of another missile.
President Donald Trump claimed that the aircraft carrier and an “armada” of ships were being deployed to the coast of North Korea to counter the country’s threats of conducting its another nuclear test back on April 12. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis even claimed that the Vinson had backed out of scheduled exercises with the Australian Navy in the Indian Ocean.
However, just a few days later, the U.S. Navy released a photo of the Vinson passing through the Sunda Strait, approximately 3,500 miles away from where it was claimed to be near North Korea.
It was confirmed that the USS Carl Vinson was scheduled to finally arrive in the region by the end of April, and it took a plane falling out of the sky to prove it’s now headed the right direction. The Navy said it is conducting an investigation into the crash, and it’s unclear if this will delay the Vinson and its “armada” from reaching the Koreas any further.