The F-35A experienced an in-flight emergency and returned to base. The aircraft landed safely and parked when the front nose gear collapsed
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 flightline at Eglin Air Force Base (AFB).
The F-35A experienced an in-flight emergency and returned to base. The aircraft landed safely and parked when the front nose gear collapsed, the U.S. Air Force (USAF) said in a News Release. 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.
What damage may have resulted from the incident, and the costs associated with repairing it, is unclear; the USAF in fact did not share details on the initial incident which required the plane to return to base early.
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 – a different variation of the fighter jet, designed for operations on a carrier – complained the jet would bob up and down on its nose gear when being launched from a catapult, Defense News reported.
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. The department worked with Lockheed Martin on a fix for the issue.
Top image: Senior Airman Stormy Archer / U.S. Air Force
Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com