Probe Into Crash-Landing of US F-18 Fighter Jet at Bahrain Airport
AN investigation is underway into last weekend’s crash-landing of a US F-18 fighter jet at Bahrain International Airport (BIA).
The jet had taken off from the deck of the largest class of aircraft carriers, the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), on August 12 as part of a training mission of launch and recovery operations.
The aircraft suffered an engine problem mid-air and ran off the runway, disrupting flights, but the pilot was unharmed as he ejected to safety.
The GDN was invited on board the USS Nimitz — stationed in central Arabian Gulf — for an exclusive tour, where Nimitz Carrier Strike Group Commander Rear Admiral Bill Byrne Jr confirmed that the US Navy has initiated a probe and that the pilot was still in Bahrain.
“It was an unfortunate situation where an aircraft had an emergency in the air and our pilot handled the situation flawlessly and made an emergency landing in Bahrain International Airport,” said Rear Admiral Byrne.
“We had great support from our partners in Bahrain and BIA airport personnel, in particular.
“(The pilot) safely landed the aircraft because of his excellent training and excellent airmanship and unfortunately he could not stop the aircraft and had to eject while on the runway.
“He walked away from it safely, taking care of the aircraft with the help of our partners in Bahrain.
“The pilot is still in Bahrain and he will be back to us shortly.
“We are conducting an investigation.”
Photos on social media showed the grey fighter jet’s nose tipped into the air but largely intact after what the US Navy described as an “uncontrollable” landing.
The GDN reported at the time that the pilot initially tried to land at Shaikh Isa Air Base, but instead ended up at BIA, according to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet spokesman Commander Bill Urban.