Losses and Aviation Safety

F/A-18E Super Hornet Blown off Deck of USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier recovered

The F/A-18E Super Hornet blown off the deck of USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) aircraft carrier on Jul. 8, 2022 was recovered 9,500 feet under the Mediterranean Sea.

The F/A-18E Super Hornet blown off the deck of USS Harry S. Truman (CVN-75) aircraft carrier on Jul. 8, 2022 was recovered 9,500 feet under the Mediterranean Sea, US 6th Fleet announced on Aug. 8, 2022.

According to USNI News, the single-seat Super Hornet assigned to Carrier Air Wing 1 was knocked off the deck of the carrier in what the Navy at the time called “unexpected heavy weather” during the midst of an underway replenishment.

The US 6th Fleet said on Jul. 10 in a statement;

‘On July 8, 2022, an F/A-18 Super Hornet assigned to Carrier Air Wing (CVW) 1, embarked aboard USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75), blew overboard due to unexpected heavy weather in the Mediterranean Sea. The carrier was conducting a replenishment-at-sea, which was safely terminated through established procedures.

‘All personnel aboard the ship are accounted for.

‘One Sailor received minor injuries while conducting operations during the unexpected heavy weather. The Sailor is in stable condition and expected to make a full recovery.

‘USS Harry S. Truman and embarked aircraft remain full mission capable.’

That incident was not related to the F/A-18 Super Hornet going overboard, and all other personnel were accounted for, said Cmdr. Richlyn Ivey, a spokeswoman for US 6th Fleet.

No one was on board the plane, and no personnel were in the immediate vicinity when the aircraft blew off the ship’s deck.

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A “team from Task Force (CTF) 68, Naval Sea Systems Command’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving (SUPSALV), Harry S. Truman, Naval Strike Fighter Wing Atlantic, and U.S. 6th Fleet embarked on the multi-purpose construction vessel MPV Everest,” oversaw the Aug. 3 recovery, according to the statement from 6th Fleet. “The aircraft was recovered using a CURV-21 remotely operated vehicle to attach specialized rigging and lift lines to the aircraft. A lifting hook was attached to the rigging to raise the aircraft to the surface and hoist it aboard Everest.”

Members from Phoenix International, the maritime salvage company that aided in the recovery of an F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter from the Pacific following a January crash aboard USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70), were included in the recovery team. A similar team, including Navy salvage personnel, recovered the fighter from a depth of 12,500 feet using a CURV-21.

The Navy took the recovered Super Hornet to an unspecified military base in Europe and will eventually transport the jet to the US While 6th Fleet did not provide details, Everest docked in Sicily, near Naval Air Station Sigonella, the day after the recovery in Augusta, according to ship tracking data.

The incident is still under investigation. It wasn’t clear where in the Mediterranean the Truman was when the incident occurred, but USNI News reported on Jul. 7 that the ship was in the Ionian Sea.

Truman deployed from the East Coast in December and since then has been operating almost exclusively in the Mediterranean Sea. In a visit earlier this year, officials aboard Truman told USNI News the air wing was flying 60 to 90 sorties a day as part of ongoing deterrence missions along NATO’s eastern front.

Photo credit: U.S. Navy

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Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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