An F-35A Lightning II, assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron, experienced a ground mishap
on Aug. 22, 2018, at approximately 12:50 p.m. today on the flight line at Eglin Air Force Base
The F-35A experienced an in-flight emergency and returned to base. The aircraft landed safely and parked when the front nose gear collapsed. There was one person on board. Fire crews responded immediately and the pilot suffered no injuries as a result of the incident. An investigation into the circumstances surrounding the mishap is underway.”
Photos captured by local media show the plane sitting safely on the runway, with its nose
down on the ground.
The extent of the damage is unknown. Till now it is clear the type of emergency that forced the F-35A to return to Eglin AFB where it suffered the gear collapse. USAF did not share details on the initial incident which required the plane to return to base early.
There have been two other significant incidents with the aircraft including an engine fire on an F-35A on Sept. 23, 2016, at Mountain Home AFB in Idaho and on Oct. 27, 2016, when an F-35B part of Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 caught fire in the internal weapons bay causing significant damage. The ground incident at Mountain Home AFB was attributed to strong winds blowing into the afterburner outlet of the aircraft.
It’s not the first time the F-35 has had an issue with its front landing gear. In 2017, Navy
pilots using the F-35C model complained the jet would bob up and down on its nose gear when being launched from a catapult
Furthermore, The issue was bad enough that pilots said they could not read instruments while trying to take flight. A number of pilots also said they experienced pain from the motion.