A £100 million F35B fight jet has been lost by the Royal Navy, with a leaked video showing the moment it failed to take off.
In the clip, a smartphone recording of CCTV onboard HMS Queen Elizabeth, the jet appears to be moving far too slowly as it inches towards the edge of the runway.
The plane rolls over the edge and plunges down into the Mediterranean Sea and out of sight.
Fortunately, the pilot managed to eject and return to the aircraft carrier with minor injuries from the incident on November 17.
It's believed the botched takeoff is due to a red plastic rain cover being left on the plane in error and sucked into the engine, The Sun reports.
There are concerns the plane, now a mile beneath the sea, may have struck the aircraft carrier on the way down.
Commander Tom Sharpe, a former Royal Navy officer told Sky News: "Given how close the aircraft ditched to the bow, and the speed of the ship on launch, the likelihood of it hitting the bow of the ship (under the waterline) would be quite high.
"Warship steel is not that thick so, even despite the weight discrepancy between the two, I would want the compartments near the bow checked immediately…
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"I would then want the hull dived on at the first opportunity, just to be sure."
The leaked footage was shared on Twitter by defence commentator Seb Haggart, who wrote: "Well thank God he is still with us! That’s all I can say."
It has been watched more than 400,000 times and dozens of people left comments.
One user commented: "Wonder who's getting disciplined for leaking this video?
"Not hard to figure out who's workstation it is from the peeling label at the top of the screen."
There is now a scramble to find and recover the plane, and its onboard stealth technology, before the Russians.
A second penned: "I'm guessing the carrier hit the F35?
"Would it cause damage to the ship? And are they designed to be able to hit a plane?"
Someone else tweeted: "Seems to be nowhere near enough thrust for takeoff speed but I'm surprised the brakes didn't do more, then again I have no idea how long it takes for the thrust to drop off once the throttle is pulled back on these engines."
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