The Navy is investigating a “landing mishap” on the deck of an aircraft carrier operating in the South China Sea on Monday that injured seven sailors and forced the pilot to eject.
The incident occurred while the F-35C Lightning II was attempting to land aboard the USS Carl Vinson during “routine flight operations,” according to the U.S. Pacific Fleet.
“The pilot safely ejected from the aircraft and was recovered via U.S. military helicopter. The pilot is in stable condition,” Navy officials said in a statement.
Four of the injured sailors were treated aboard the ship and three others were flown to a hospital in the Philippines, where they were listed in stable condition, officials said.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the fighter jet managed to land on the carrier or went into the water during the mishap.
The mishap occurred while the USS Carl Vinson and another aircraft carrier, the USS Abraham Lincoln, were conducting joint operations.
The operations are part of a show of force following a recent incident in which China sent aircraft into Taiwan’s Air Defense Identification Zone.