Jun 23 2014
Army Times reports from Eglin AFB, Fla., USA:
An F-35A was damaged in a “significant fire” Monday morning while on the runway at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida.
The pilot was not injured and was able to safely egress the aircraft after bringing it to a stop and shutting down the engine at about 9:15 a.m., Eglin spokeswoman 1st Lt. Hope Cronin said. The pilot, an instructor pilot with the 58th Fighter Squadron, was taking off as part of a two-ship formation for a continuation training mission, she said.
The fire originated in the tail of the aircraft. Emergency crews were able to extinguish the fire, which is under investigation. No details on the extent of damage to the aircraft were available, Cronin said.
Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the Pentagon’s F-35 program offic said to the press: “Safety is paramount, and all F-35A flight operations have been temporarily suspended at Eglin as they investigate the nature of the incident“.
It appears to the be second major fire that has erupted inside the aircraft on the ground.
The F-35 test fleet was grounded for several weeks in 2011 after a fire erupted in the integrated power package (IPP) subsystem on board an F-35A.
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