16:31 GMT04 July 2020
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    A US F-18 fighter jet experiencing an engine malfunction made a crash landing Saturday at Bahrain International Airport, briefly interfering with commercial flight schedules. The pilot, who ejected from the aircraft after it ran off the runway, escaped unharmed.

    The F-18 took off from the USS Nimitz, a US Navy supercarrier currently located in the Persian Gulf, according to Stars and Stripes. 

    The pilot attempted to land the fighter jet at Sheikh Isa Air Base in Bahrain, but had to reroute to the Middle Eastern island country's commercial airport, the American Press reported.

    "Due to the malfunction, the aircraft could not be stopped on the runway and the pilot ejected from the aircraft as it departed on the runway," the base commander stated.

    Bahrain's Transportation and Telecommunications Ministry referred to the occurrence as a "minor incident" and claimed that flights resumed normally a few hours after the uncontrolled crash landing.

    With the aid of US naval officials, Bahrain has begun an investigation into the cause of the crash.

    The tiny island kingdom is currently home to a US naval support facility and holds some 8,000 US troops. This base provides security and anti-piracy patrols for the approximately 20 US and coalition naval vessels currently on station in the Gulf region.

    The US is not the only country with ongoing naval operations in the Middle East.

    In 2016, the HMS Prince of Wales opened a naval support facility in Bahrain's capital, Manama, confirming the United Kingdom's continued commitment to Anglo-Bahraini military collaboration.


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    Middle East, pilot, Fighter jet, crash landing, navy, Bahrain
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