25 September 2016

This Program is Going so Swimmingly

Another F-35 had an engine fire on the ground, after the problem was supposed to be fixed:
An F-35A caught fire during an exercise at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, the Air Force confirmed to Defense News.

The incident took place at around noon and involved an F-35A aircraft from the 61st Fighter Squadron located at Luke Air Force Base, the service said in a statement. No serious injuries seem to have been sustained by the pilot or nearby crew.

"The pilot had to egress the aircraft during engine start due to a fire from the aft section of the aircraft," Air Force spokesman Capt. Mark Graff said in an email. "The fire was extinguished quickly. As a precautionary measure, four 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit Airmen, three Airmen from the 366th Maintenance Group and the 61st Fighter Squadron pilot were transported to the base medical center for standard evaluation."

Seven F-35As from Luke AFB, which is one of the bases responsible for joint strike fighter pilot instruction, had deployed to Mountain Home to conduct surface-to-air training from Sept. 10 to 24.

The root cause of the event is under investigation, Graff stated.
To describe this program ill-starred is an understatement.


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