The UK Ministry of Defence has opened a probe after a video of an incident with a stumbling Royal Navy F-35 pilot leaked from the British aircraft carrier Queen Elizabeth, The Daily Star reports.
The newspaper quoted the MoD as saying that “an internal investigation into the release of the footage has been launched” and that “it would be inappropriate to comment further”.
In the footage shared by the independent company Save the Royal Navy, the pilot is seen shaking hands with the ground crew and then suddenly falling flat on his face moments after his fifth-generation F-35 fighter jet lands on the Royal Navy’s most powerful warship.
The pilot is thought to have been wearing a high tech helmet worth a whopping £250,000, or about $324,624.
Are you feeling the need - the need for speed?! Here is the first 🇬🇧⚡️takeoff in real time, as requested by so many of you. Enjoy! #WESTLANT19 #QNLZatSea #bigdecksfastjets #FlyNavy @RoyalNavy @RoyalAirForce @OC617Sqn @17SqnRAF pic.twitter.com/4WkRhWZ7Nb— HMS Queen Elizabeth (@HMSQNLZ) October 17, 2019
The video, which was apparently taken on the Queen Elizabeth’s own CCTV cameras, came as a footage of the first F-35s taking off aboard HMS Queen Elizabeth during war games between the US and the UK was published on the aircraft carrier's Twitter page.
Most netizens posted sarcastic posts when commenting on the Save the Royal Navy’s shared video, with one user calling the incident with the pilot a “Top Gun, British Style”.
That’ll be the £250000 helmet knackered!— Keith Campbell (@captureasecond) October 16, 2019
Hope he didn't break his ultra hi-tech and ultra expensive custom-made helmet's visor.— Ramandeep Bajwa (@Ramandeep_Bajwa) October 16, 2019
It’s still making me laugh. Sorry....— Alex Walmsley (@AlexAshWalms) October 16, 2019
Top Gun, British style.— Leeming #FBPE (@lord_corbyn) October 16, 2019
“Hope he didn't break his ultra hi-tech and ultra expensive custom-made helmet's visor,” another user tweeted as one more netizen apologised for the incident still making him laugh.
The 65,000-tonn HMS Queen Elizabeth, which is due to enter service in 2020, earlier faced a spate of technical problems, including a shaft seal leak and an accidental trigger of the boat’s sprinkler system whilst in a hangar.