Advertisement

You will be redirected to the page you want to view in  seconds.

More F-35s grounded following Eglin fire

Jun. 26, 2014 - 06:00AM   |  
An Air Force F-35A Lightning II flies over the coast of Fort Walton Beach, Fla.
An Air Force F-35A Lightning II flies over the coast of Fort Walton Beach, Fla. (Master Sgt. Donald R. Allen / Air Force)
  • Filed Under

The Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps have halted all F-35 flights after a fire damaged an Air Force F-35A during takeoff Monday morning at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.

Initially only F-35A flights at Eglin were grounded Tuesday, and the base said then it expected flights to resume Wednesday.

The Air Force said Thursday that major commands, including Air Force Education and Training Command, Air Combat Command and Air Force Materiel Command have decided to stop F-35A flights while the investigation continues into Monday’s fire.

“As a precautionary measure, the Air Force has decided to temporarily suspend all F-35A operations until it is determined that flights can resume safely,” Air Force spokeswoman Maj. Natasha Waggoner said in a statement. “This is not an uncommon practice following a mishap. It ensures the safety of our crews and our aircraft so we can determine there is no fleetwide issue that needs to be addressed.”

Eglin is home to all F-35 instructor pilot training, including for the F-35B and F-35C variants of other services and other nations. The Navy said Thursday that local commanders at Patuxent Naval Air Station, Maryland, and Eglin have decided to stop F-35C flights while the investigation continues.

At about 9:15 a.m. Monday, a fire broke out on the aft end of an F-35A piloted by an instructor pilot. The pilot was taking off as part of a two-ship continuation training mission. The pilot was able to stop the jet, shut down the engine and egress safely. The pilot was not injured, and crews were able to extinguish the fire.

Eglin officials have not released any information on the extent of the damage, pending the investigation. The base has not released the tail number of the aircraft.

Last February, the Defense Department grounded all F-35s for about a week after a crack was found in the engine of the Marine Corps F-35B variant. An investigation found that heat cracked a blade in the engine of the aircraft. The blade was replaced and flights resumed.

The Air Force expects to buy 1,763 F-35As, with initial operating capability expected by late 2016. The Defense Department expects the sustainment cost for the F-35 program to be about $857 billion, with Lockheed officials saying the cost for one F-35A is less than $100 million.

The Air Force recently stood up the main F-35A training program at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona, which will eventually have 144 F-35As. The Air Force’s first operational base, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, will have 72 F-35As. The first Air National Guard base, Burlington Air Guard Station, Vermont, will eventually receive 18 F-35As beginning in 2020.

More In News

Start your day with a roundup of top defense news.

VA Home Loan
Rates

Search By:

Product Options:
Zip Code:

News for your in-box

Sign up now for free Military Times E-Reports. Choose from Money and Education. Subscribers: log in for premium e-newsletters.


This Week's Navy Times

This Week's Navy Times

The education edge
Sailors with higher ed. degrees advance faster, data show

Subscribe for Print or Digital delivery today!

Classifieds
MilitaryTimes Green Trusted Classifieds Looking to buy, sell and connect on Military Times?
Browse expanded listings across hundreds of military installations.
Faces of valorHonoring those who fought and died in Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom.
hall of valorThe Hall of Valor is a searchable database of valor award citations collected by Doug Sterner, a Vietnam veteran and Military Times contributing editor, and by Military Times staff.
Woman who cried rape
(3 replies)
   Last Post: TJMAC77SP
        May 3, 2014 1:32 PM
   Last Post: garhkal
        May 1, 2014 5:03 PM
Cliven Bundy
(45 replies)
   Last Post: Chief_KO
        Apr 26, 2014 9:49 AM
Handbooks

All you need to know about your military benefits.

Benefits handbook

Guard & Reserve All you need to know about the Guard & Reserve.

guard and reserve handbook