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U.S. Navy recovers fighter blown off aircraft carrier from bottom of Mediterranean Sea

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U.S. Navy recovers fighter blown off aircraft carrier from bottom of Mediterranean Sea

The U.S. Navy said Monday that it has recovered from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea a F/A-18E Super Hornet that blew off the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Harry S. Truman last month. Photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Victoria Sutton/U.S. Navy/UPI

Aug. 9 (UPI) — A U.S. Navy team has recovered an F/A-18 fighter jet from the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea about a month after it blew off a U.S. aircraft carrier, the U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Asia said.

The Navy said in a statement Monday that the jet was recovered Wednesday from a depth of about 9,500 feet by a salvage and diving team.

A remotely operated vehicle was used in the operation to attach specialized rigging and lift lines to aircraft, which was then hoisted to the surface with a lifting hook, it said.

Once out of the water, the jet was placed aboard a multi-purpose construction vessel named Everest, it said, adding the aircraft was now in the process of being delivered to an unspecified military installation from where it will be transported back to the United States.

“The search and recovery took less than 24 hours, a true testament to the team’s dedication and capability,” said. Lt. Miguel Lewis, U.S. Sixth Fleet’s salvage officer.

The jet was aboard USS Harry S. Truman when it blew overboard in what the Navy described as “unexpected heavy weather” on July 8.

The recovery operation comes months after a recovery team with the U.S. Seventh Fleet retrieved a F-35C Lightning II aircraft from the South China Sea in early March.

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The stealth combat jet had been assigned to Carrier Air Wing 2 and crashed Jan. 24 while the USS Carl Vinson was conducting routine flight operations.

The Navy said the aircraft’s wreckage was recovered from a depth of some 12,400 feet.

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