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Thu, Oct 11, 2018

Pentagon Grounds Worldwide Fleet Of F-35 Aircraft

Move Follows First Accident Involving The Airplane

Military officials have grounded the entire fleet of F-35 airplanes following the first accident to involve one of the aircraft September 28th.

The Military Times reports that the F-35 Joint Program Office said in a statement that The U.S. Services and international partners have temporarily suspended F-35 flight operations while the enterprise conducts a fleet-wide inspection of a fuel tube within the engine on all F-35 aircraft. If suspect fuel tubes are installed, the part will be removed and replaced. If known good fuel tubes are already installed, then those aircraft will be returned to flight status. Inspections are expected to be completed within the next 24 to 48 hours."

The grounding "is driven from initial data from the ongoing investigation of the F-35B that crashed in the vicinity of Beaufort, South Carolina on 28 September. The aircraft mishap board is continuing its work and the U.S. Marine Corps will provide additional information when it becomes available."

On September 28th, an F-35B aircraft, which belonged to 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing, Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501, known as the “Warlords”, went down in South Carolina near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort. The pilot ejected safely from the aircraft.

The British military said that its entire fleet was not grounded, despite the indication by the F-35 JPO that the grounding included aircraft purchased by foreign militaries.

“The primary goal following any mishap is the prevention of future incidents. We will take every measure to ensure safe operations while we deliver, sustain and modernize the F-35 for the warfighter and our defense partners,” the statement said.

(Image from file)

FMI: Source report

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