F-35 Pilot Safely Ejected from Plane Before It Crashed in Texas

Lockheed Martin said the pilot made a successful ejection before the plane hit the ground at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, TX

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Image: Rob Edgcumbe (AP)

With a total project cost of $1.7 trillion dollars, the F-35 fighter jet hasn’t been without problems over its 15+ year development. Some of those problems have turned out to be dangerous, as a report out of The Dallas Morning News says that an F-35 has crashed at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, TX.

The pilot is safe and sound after successfully ejecting before the plane hit the ground. Lockheed Martin, builder of the jet, is aware of the situation and released 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. Safety is our priority, and we will follow appropriate investigation protocol.”

No cause was given yet as to what caused the crash.

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The crash happened around 10 a.m. local time this morning. Local authorities received multiple calls about the crash. White Settlement, a town near the base had its police officers respond. White Settlement’s police chief Christoper Cook said that when his officers responded, people were already gathered in the road trying to get a look at the crash. “When we got here, there were people in the middle of the highway. Certainly we had to clear up all of that, from a safety perspective” he told the Morning News. Cook said his department would be aiding in the investigation of the crash.

The pilot was lucky to make it out of the jet alive before it crashed. Of the many problems the F-35 has had, a serious one was discovered earlier this year that could’ve cost the pilot his life. Hundreds of F-35s were found to have a problem with their seat ejection systems. The UK-based company that makes the explosive cartridges used in the ejector system said there had been problems with their manufacturing. Yet the government kept the jets flying. We’ll update this post when more information about the crash comes available.