Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Fire halts F-35 flights

The Air Force on Monday halted flights of 26 F-35A fighters at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla., after a jet caught fire as it was readied for take off for a training flight. The pilot aborted the takeoff and was not injured, said a spokesman for the Pentagon's F-35 program office. The fire occurred in the rear part of the plane where the engine is located, but it was unclear whether the engine was involved. Engine maker Pratt and Whitney said it was aware of the incident and stood ready to assist in the Air Force investigation. This is the second incident that has affected F-35 flights in recent weeks. The U.S. military ordered mandatory inspections of all 97 F-35 fighter jets earlier this month after a Marine Corps F-35 B-model jet suffered an oil leak in flight. (Source: Reuters, Northwest Florida Daily News, Air Force Times, 06/23/14)