A £100million fighter jet reportedly crashed because a plastic rain cover was left on it during take-off.
The plastic cover is believed to have been sucked into the F-35 Lightning’s engine of the Navy’s flagship as it flew down the aircraft carrier HMS Queen Elizabeth during take off.
The Navy pilot "knew almost right away" and attempted to abort take-off but had to eject due to coming to an end on the runway, a source told The Sun.
It was reported that sailors spotted the cheap red cover bobbing in the sea after the fighter jet crashed into the Mediterranean.
A source said: “The covers and engine blanks are supposed to be removed before flight.
“The ground crew do it and they are incredibly strict. Then the pilot walks round.”
The pilot's parachute reportedly caught on to the ship when he fled the cockpit as he was quite close to it, according to the Sun.
Sources say that investigators think the crash might have been due to human error and oversight.
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They added that no other F-35s were grounded because it was not an internal fault with the jet.
It has been reported that a US Navy salvage crew are trying to retrieve the wreck to prevent Russian submarines from taking its top secret technology.
The Ministry of Defence told the Sun they are still investigating the incident. The Daily Star has contacted the Royal Navy for comment.
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