On Dec. 15, 2022, Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II aircraft crashed on the shared runway at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth, Texas. The pilot then ejects from the F-35.
Video taken by Kitt Wilder shows the plane hovering before bouncing on the runway. The jet then goes nose-first into the ground sending smoke into the air.
The pilot was a U.S. government employee, Pentagon Press Secretary Brig. Gen. Patrick Ryder said during a Thursday press conference.
The plane had not yet been transferred to the U.S. government, Ryder said. Lockheed manufactures the F-35B for the Marine Corps.
“We are aware of the F-35B crash on the shared runway at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth and understand that the pilot ejected successfully. Safety is our priority, and we will follow appropriate investigation protocol,” reads the statement from Lockheed.
A statement was issued by Lockheed Martin following the incident: “We are aware of the F-35B crash on the shared runway at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth and understand that the pilot ejected successfully. Safety is our priority, and we will follow appropriate investigation protocol.” No additional detail about the mishap has been shared so far.
White Settlement Chief of Police Christoper Cook said they were called at 10:15 a.m. by U.S. Navy Police and Lockheed Martin to help clear onlookers away from a road running adjacent to a runway where officials were responding to and investigating an incident with an aircraft.
According to Cook, the pilot of a Lockheed-owned jet ejected and the pilot’s seat and parachute were visible near the aircraft. The jet came to a stop in the grass along the southwest side of the runway, near White Settlement Road and Spur 341/Lockheed Boulevard.
Lockheed Martin’s final assembly plant for the F-35 shares a runway with Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth.