Pilot ejects from fighter while carrier sails to Korea

A pilot of a strike fighter on final approach to the U.S. Navy carrier Carl Vinson safely ejected in the Celebes Sea early Friday morning and was recovered, officials say.

Currently under investigation, the incident occurred as the unnamed pilot of the F/A-18E Super Hornet assigned to Carrier Air Wing 2 was trying to land. A helicopter crew from Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 4, the Black Knights, quickly recovered the pilot, according to a statement released Friday by Third Fleet headquarters in Point Loma.

An initial medical assessment aboard the Vinson indicated that the pilot was unharmed. The aircraft did not strike the carrier and entered the waters between Indonesia and the Philippines.

The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is composed of the Nimitz-class flattop, plus the Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyers Wayne E. Meyer and Michael Murphy, and the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser Lake Champlain

Third Fleet’s Maritime Operations Center exerts operational control over the strike group. The flotilla is steaming north to the waters of the Korean peninsula from recent exercises off the coast of Australia.

It was ordered to the Yellow Sea in the midst of rising tensions in the Yellow Sea from a North Korean regime that hints it will conduct its sixth nuclear weapons tests. Pyongyang continues to test fire ballistic missiles, part of a larger program designed to build a device capable of striking North America.

On Tuesday, Rear Adm. James “Jim”…

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