U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II Crashed Upon Landing At Eglin Air Force Base

U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II Crashed Upon Landing At Eglin Air Force Base
An F-35A Lightning II Fighting flies past the Wasatch Mountains by Hill Air Force Base (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Andrew Lee)

The Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II crashed upon landing during a night training exercise under unknown circumstances. The aircraft was assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron of the 33d Fighter Wing. The pilot managed to eject. He was taken to the 96th Medical Group Hospital for medical follow-up.

An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron crashed upon landing around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at Eglin, according to a media release. The pilot successfully ejected and was transported to the 96th Medical Group Hospital at Eglin for evaluation and monitoring.

The pilot is in stable condition. At the time of the accident, the pilot was participating in a routine night training sortie, according to the release.

First responders from the 96th Test Wing are on the scene and the site is secured.

The accident is under investigation. There was no loss of life or damage to civilian property. The name of the pilot is not being released this time.

The F-35A variant cost about $90 million.

On Friday, An F-22 Raptor from Eglin crashed on the base’s test and training range, but its pilot is safe and in stable condition.

The pilot of the F-22 safely ejected, and was taken to the 96th Medical Group hospital at the base for evaluation and observation, Eglin said in a release. The pilot is in stable condition, but was not identified by Eglin.

The jet was from the 43rd Fighter Squadron, part of the 325th Fighter Wing that is now based at Eglin. The range where it crashed is about 12 miles northeast of Eglin’s main base.

Tuesday’s accident marks the second time the A variant of the advanced stealth fighter has crashed. On April 9, 2019, one of the Japan Air Self-Defense Force’s F-35As plunged into the Pacific Ocean about 85 miles east of Misawa Air Base, its home field in northeastern Japan.

The first F-35 crash happened on Sept. 28, 2018, when a B variant of the joint strike fighter, which is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings, went down near Beaufort, S.C. The pilot safely ejected.

That accident was caused by a manufacturing defect in a fuel tube that made the part rupture during flight, resulting in a loss of engine power, according to congressional investigators.

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