An F-35B fighter plane of the STOVL model, which is characterized by a short takeoff and vertical landing, manufactured by the Lockheed Martin company, crashed yesterday (Thursday) during a vertical landing attempt at the Air Force Base in Fort Worth, Texas.
According to publications in the media in the United States, the plane that crashed has not yet been handed over to the US Department of Defense (DoD).
In a statement from the Lockheed company, it was stated: “We are aware of the crash of the F-35B on the runway at the Air Force base in Fort Worth and understand that the pilot ejected successfully. Safety is our top priority, and we will follow the appropriate investigation protocol.”
The crash, which was recorded in real time, was posted on the Houston Air Watch Twitter account. The documentation shows the plane standing above the runway and descending until touching the ground, but upon contact it bounced back and landed with the front of the plane. Smoke started around him and then the pilot activated the ejection seat and pulled himself out.
The condition of the pilot has not been released, but an investigation has been opened to find out the circumstances.
It should be noted that the US Marine Corps (USMC) is the only US military that operates the STOVL version of the multi-role fighter.
The crash in Fort Worth is added to a number of serious incidents that occurred during the year with F-35 aircraft. In October, an F-35A of the US Air Force crashed in Utah, in both incidents the pilots ejected safely. In January, an F-35C of the US Navy (USN) was lost in the South China Sea while trying to land on the aircraft carrier USS Carl.
In November 2021, a British Royal Navy F-35B aircraft assigned to HMS Queen Elizabeth crashed in the Mediterranean Sea.