A US F-18 fighter jet suffering an engine problem crash landed Saturday at Bahrain International Airport and its pilot ejected from the aircraft after it ran off the runway, authorities said.
The military jet was on a training mission in worldwide waters when it suffered a technical problem in one engine and the pilot had to make an emergency landing at 12:40pm, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications.
The F/A 18E fighter "experienced an engine malfunction and attempted to divert to Sheik (h) Isa Air Base, Bahrain", said Commander William Urban of the US Navy's Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain. Urban, who said that the device had taken off from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz. "Due to the technical problem, the device could not be stopped on the runway and the pilot ejected when the aircraft has left the runway".
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With the aid of USA naval officials, Bahrain has begun an investigation into the cause of the crash.
Bahrain's Transportation and Telecommunications Ministry called the crash landing a "minor incident" in a statement and said flights resumed at the airport several hours later.
The US Navy, which has 8,000 troops in Bahrain, is investigating the incident.
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That base oversees some 20 USA and coalition naval vessels in the Gulf providing security and others running anti-piracy patrols.
In 2016, the HMS Prince of Wales opened a naval support facility in Bahrain's capital, Manama, confirming the United Kingdom's continued commitment to Anglo-Bahraini military collaboration. It has a strategic importance for the u.s. operations in the framework of the fight against the group jihadist islamic State (EI) in the region.
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