SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — The Navy has confirmed the authenticity of a leaked video that shows an F-35 fighter jet crashing aboard San Diego-based USS Carl Vinson last month.
The Navy said in a statement sent to ABC 10News Thursday, "The investigation into the unauthorized release of the shipboard video footage has concluded; one U.S. Navy O-1, one E-8 and three E-7s have been charged under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.”
According to mcmilitarylaw.com, Article 92 defines disobeying a direct order as three types of offenses - violations or failures to obey lawful general orders or regulations, failures to obey other lawful orders, and dereliction of duty.
The identities of the sailors were not immediately released. However, the investigation into the F-35 fighter jet crash is ongoing, according to a Navy spokesperson.
The video, which appeared online in early February shows an F-35C — the Navy's newest fighter jet — crashing into the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, which was stationed in the South China Sea.
The video — which appears to show the crash footage on a computer monitor — shows two angles of the crash. The first angle shows the war plane's approach. The plane makes a dramatic dip before touching down wing first on the carrier's deck.
The second angle shows the wreckage burst into flame. You can view the leaked video here.
“We are aware that there has been an unauthorized release of video footage from flight deck cameras onboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) of the F-35C Lightning II crash that occurred Jan. 24, in the South China Sea. We remain grateful to the highly trained Sailors aboard Carl Vinson who immediately responded to ensure that the pilot was recovered from the water, all injured personnel were cared for, and flight deck was cleared and re-set for operations. After a short pause in accordance with safety procedures, the rapid response from the crew enabled flight operations resume with minimal impact to mission requirements."
The Navy said the pilot, who was able to eject, was injured, along with six other sailors aboard. The Navy is working to recover the wreckage from the crash, which sunk in the South China Sea.
The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group returned to San Diego on Feb. 14, marking the end of an eight-month deployment to U.S. 3rd and 7th Fleets areas of operation.