Pentagon grounds some F-35s after pilot gets ejected

F-35B Lightning II / F-35 Plane
An F-35B Lightning II aircraft assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 262 (Reinforced) flies over amphibious assault carrier USS Tripoli (LHA 7), Aug. 20, 2022. Tripoli is operating in the U.S. 7th Fleet area of operations to enhance interoperability with allies and partners and serve as a ready response force to defend peace and maintain stability in the Indo-Pacific region. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Peter Burghart)

Pentagon grounds some F-35s after pilot gets ejected

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The F-35 Joint Program Office has grounded a handful of newer F-35 Joint Strike Fighters following an incident weeks ago in which a fighter pilot tipped over on a Texas runaway and was ejected from the aircraft.

The unknown number of newer F-35s will be grounded at least until January, per the guidance it issued on Tuesday, according to a Defense News report.

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The office declined to specify the number of F-35s that were grounded. It also didn’t say what caused those that were grounded to be at a higher risk for incidents.

“The F-35 Joint Program Office has issued a Time Compliance Technical Directive (TCTD) to restrict some aircraft, which have been evaluated to be of higher risk, from flight operations while the investigation into the mishap on December 15 continues and until procedures can be developed for their return to flight. The affected aircraft have been identified, and the JPO will work with the [U.S. military] services and [international] partners to ensure compliance with the TCTD,” the JPO told the outlet.

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On Dec. 15, a video was posted on social media at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth in Texas that showed a pilot’s successful ejection after the fighter’s nose descended, bounced off the ground, and tipped forward, which was then followed by the nose and right wing touching the ground before the pilot exited the aircraft.

https://twitter.com/cbs11doug/status/1603466654704406530?s=20&t=cEwnkp94PUF-STprcefLow

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