|Rafale M18 on the CVN-71 ©US Navy - 2008|
Apparently, the pilot was very experienced on the type with more than 2000 flight hours and a participation to the last Aghanistan campaign in 2007..
The wreckage of the plane are laying at a depth of more than 2500 m.
The first rumors tell that the crash could have been provoked by a fuel management problem or mistake.
For the record, the M18 was among the 6 Rafale M F2 which took part in the JTFEX exercice with the US Navy in June and July 2008. During the exercice, it was integrated to the carrier air wing 7 on board the CVN-71 Theodore Roosevelt from july, 17th to july, 23rd.
As such, it is one of the very rare french fighter jet which had the opportunity to be landed by night on a US super carrier.
It was also the Rafale that made the Navy demonstration at the "Ferté Alais" show in May 2009.