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Moment pilot ejects from $100M F-35B stealth fighter jet as it crashes

Dramatic moment pilot ejects from $100M F-35B stealth fighter jet as it crashes nose-down onto the tarmac near Fort Worth Naval Air Station in Texas

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A pilot was forced to eject from an F-35B Lightning II fighter jet during a crash landing at the a naval airbase in Texas on Thursday morning. The crash happened at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, as the $100million jet touched down on the tarmac. The pilot’s condition remains unknown.

It was not the first time an F-35B — which takes off and lands vertically, much like a helicopter — has crashed in recent memory. Just this month a jet's forward landing gear collapsed while it was being towed across a tarmac in Japan, and last year a jet went careening off the flight deck of an aircraft carrier and sank into the Mediterranean.

It was not the first time an F-35B — which takes off and lands vertically, much like a helicopter — has crashed in recent memory. Just this month a jet’s forward landing gear collapsed while it was being towed across a tarmac in Japan, and last year a jet went careening off the flight deck of an aircraft carrier and sank into the Mediterranean. 

Footage from Fort Worth showed the F-35B descending vertically from the sky to the runway and gently touching down. The plane then appeared to bounce a few feet back into the air and travel forward, before suddenly pitching forward, nose first into the ground.

Footage from Fort Worth showed the F-35B descending vertically from the sky to the runway and gently touching down. The plane then appeared to bounce a few feet back into the air and travel forward, before suddenly pitching forward, nose first into the ground.

The aircraft flipped forward on its nose in a cloud of dust and smoke before spinning 180 degrees around. It then turned back around and fell upright onto its landing gear as it continued to slide forward. The pilot then came rocketing out of the cockpit with their parachute in tow, which expanded in the air before they drifted to the ground.

The aircraft flipped forward on its nose in a cloud of dust and smoke before spinning 180 degrees around. It then turned back around and fell upright onto its landing gear as it continued to slide forward. The pilot then came rocketing out of the cockpit with their parachute in tow, which expanded in the air before they drifted to the ground. 

The jet's producer, munitions contractor Lockheed Martin, acknowledged the crash in a statement. 'We are aware of the F-35B crash on the shared runway at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth and understand that the pilot ejected successfully,' the company said. 'Safety is our priority, and we will follow appropriate investigation protocol.'

The jet’s producer, munitions contractor Lockheed Martin, acknowledged the crash in a statement. ‘We are aware of the F-35B crash on the shared runway at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth and understand that the pilot ejected successfully,’ the company said. ‘Safety is our priority, and we will follow appropriate investigation protocol.’

Lockheed Martin assembles the jet at facility that shares a runway with the Navy base. The innovative jet was first introduced in 2015 and has been plagued with problems in recent years. Just this past summer the Air Force grounded 300 of its F-35Bs — which had cost about $23billion collectively — because of faulty ejection systems. At issue were the explosive cartridges inside F-35 ejection seats that blow the pilot clear of the aircraft in an emergency.

Lockheed Martin assembles the jet at facility that shares a runway with the Navy base. The innovative jet was first introduced in 2015 and has been plagued with problems in recent years. Just this past summer the Air Force grounded 300 of its F-35Bs — which had cost about $23billion collectively — because of faulty ejection systems. At issue were the explosive cartridges inside F-35 ejection seats that blow the pilot clear of the aircraft in an emergency.

'Out of an abundance of caution, [Air Combat Command] ACC units will execute a stand-down on July 29 to expedite the inspection process,' an ACC spokesman told DailyMail.com at the time.

‘Out of an abundance of caution, [Air Combat Command] ACC units will execute a stand-down on July 29 to expedite the inspection process,’ an ACC spokesman told DailyMail.com at the time.

And in February of this year, a Lightning II crashed while landing on the USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea. Video leaked on social media at the time showed the jet approaching the ship before a sudden burst of smoke filled the frame accompanied by a violent engine sound before the video cut off.

And in February of this year, a Lightning II crashed while landing on the USS Carl Vinson in the South China Sea. Video leaked on social media at the time showed the jet approaching the ship before a sudden burst of smoke filled the frame accompanied by a violent engine sound before the video cut off.

Subsequent photos showed the jet half submerged in the water as it sank into the sea. The pilot had ejected from the aircraft during the crash and was reported injured, as were six sailors aboard the Vinson.

Subsequent photos showed the jet half submerged in the water as it sank into the sea. The pilot had ejected from the aircraft during the crash and was reported injured, as were six sailors aboard the Vinson. 

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Read more at DailyMail.co.uk



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