An A-10 Thunderbolt II made a belly landing at Moody Air Force Base, Georgia, after its pilot declared an in-flight emergency during a routine training flight, according to the Air Force.
The single-seat close air support jet, which is assigned to the 75th Fighter Squadron, did not have its landing gear extended when it touched down, officials told WALB.
The pilot declared an in-flight emergency prior to approaching the runway.
Following the landing, the pilot was evaluated by flight surgeons and deemed fit to be released.
No other injuries were reported.
Officials at the base, which is located about 15 miles northeast of Valdosta, Georgia, are launching an investigation into the incident.
Photos of the mishap surfaced on the unofficial, but popular Air Force Facebook page Amn/Nco/Snco, showing the A-10 close-air support aircraft resting on its underside on the flight line as airmen and emergency crews responded to the incident.
The pilot, who was the only person aboard the single-seat jet, “was not injured and evaluated by flight surgeons before release,” officials said. A spokesperson for the 23rd could not provide additional details, but said base leaders have launched an investigation into the accident.
The A-10 is known for its iconic Gatling gun, which is designed to shred tanks, and its tough titanium armor, which is designed to take hits and keep flying.
The Air Force has 281 A-10s in its inventory (two A-10s were destroyed in a collision in 2017), but has repeatedly stressed it can maintain roughly six of its nine A-10 combat squadrons through 2032.
This isn’t the first time an A-10 has been forced to making a emergency belly landing. In July 2017, a pilot assigned to the Michigan Air National Guard’s 107th Fighter Squadron was forced to land without both his landing gear and his canopy after his aircraft’s 30mm GAU-8/A Avenger cannon malfunctioned.