The crash of F-18 Fighter disrupted flights to and from the coast of Saudi Arabia, where U.S. Navy’s Fifth Fleet is placed.
The F-18 took off from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz in the Persian Gulf. While flying, the plane suffered an engine malfunction, forcing the pilot to divert.
The pilot initially tried to land at Sheikh Isa Air Base in Bahrain, but instead had to divert to the island’s commercial airport, Cmdr. Bill Urban, a fleet spokesman said.
The commander further told “Due to the malfunction, the aircraft could not be stopped on the runway and the pilot ejected from the aircraft as it departed the runway.”
Bahrain is the host for 8,000 U.S. troops, mostly sailors attached to a sprawling base called the Naval Support Activity. Officials at that facility oversee some 20 U.S. and coalition naval vessels in the Gulf providing security and others running anti-piracy patrols.