Air Force F-35 Landing Gear Collapses When Landing

Kyle Mizokami
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force photo by Alex R. Lloyd

From Popular Mechanics

  • A F-35 suffered a mishap after the airplane’s landing gear collapsed.
  • It’s not clear how much damage the aircraft sustained, but the pilot is safe.
  • The incident is the second major incident involving a F-35 in the last month.

A U.S. Air Force F-35 Joint Strike Fighter suffered a major mishap while returning to Hill Air Force Base after a training flight. The airplane’s landing gear gave way and collapsed, causing unspecified damage. The pilot was reported unharmed in the incident, which is the second in a month involving the new fighter.

The incident took place on Monday, June 8, at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The aircraft, part of the 388th Fighter Wing, had just completed routine training flight when the landing gear suddenly gave way. The pilot was taken away for a routine medical evaluation. The runway was immediately closed and other Hill fighters already in the air were diverted to nearby bases.

In the meantime, the Air Force is pausing training flights at the base.

According to Air Force Times, a safety review board will investigate the incident. The Air Force hasn’t released any photos or any details of the incident. If the F-35 is ruled repairable it will likely take months of careful examination to determine the extent of the damage and replace parts as necessary.

The 388th Fighter Wing was one of the first combat capable F-35A units in the U.S. Air Force. The wing has deployed overseas three times in the last twelve months. The latest deployment took place in late May, with the unit sending the 421st Fighter Squadron to Al Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates.

The mishap is the second involving a F-35 fighter in the past month. On May 20, a F-35 crashed at Eglin Air Force Base during a nighttime training flight.

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