Another ‘Mighty’ stealth fighter (F-35) crashes in Utah
The pilot has recovered after being ejected from the F-35, which crashed at an Air Force Base in Utah.
An F-35 fighter jet, the newest fighter in the US Navy fleet, has crashed at Hill Air Force Base in Utah. The pilot ejected and was taken to a hospital for observation, as per an announcement by the 388th Fighter Wing.
It was stated that the cause of the $100 million fighter crash was unknown and that it would be investigated.
The 388th Fighter Wing said that emergency crews from both on- and off-base responded to the crash.
A US citizen, Brock Thurgood, said as quoted by KSL.com that the pilot landed near his property.
Thurgood stated that the pilot was "walking and coherent," but that his hands were "bloodied up and a little banged up."
“I don’t know how I’d be after I was in a plane crash but he was surprisingly tough,” Thurgood said.
It is worth noting that Hill Air Force Base is 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City.
Not an isolated incident
This is not the first-ever crash involving the F-35C stealth fighter plane. On January 24, a US Navy F35C Lightning II combat jet, which was conducting exercises in the South China Sea, crashed in an attempt to land on the US craft carrier's deck.
On 17 Nov 2021, an F35 fighter from the biggest British aircraft carrier, HMS Queen Elizabeth, crashed into the Mediterranean Sea during a routine flight over the sea.
The US Pentagon approved last Friday the resumption of deliveries of F-35 fighter jets after there was a temporary pause, due to it being discovered that a component of the aircraft was sourced in China.
The Pentagon suspended last month its deliveries of new F-35 fighter jets after learning that a magnet in the jet's engine was made in China using unauthorized material.
According to Politico, Pentagon notified Congress earlier on Friday that it had decided not to replace the component built into aircraft that have already been delivered to customers.
F-35As, were rated as "operationally unready" 234 times over a year and a half since January 2021 in South Korea due to malfunctions, a South Korean lawmaker said on Tuesday.
The multi-billion project's future is looking quite grim, with grounded fifth-generation fighters only being able to carry out missions for 12 days on average in 2021 and 11 days in the first half of 2022.
Read next: F-35 defects put Israeli air force in dilemma: Israeli media
The United States Air Force in late July even went as far as grounding its F-35A jet fleet, citing a potentially faulty component in the ejection seat that could endanger pilots in an emergency, a concern that has also grounded other types of military planes used for training.