F-35 forced to land: A state-of-the-art F-35 fighter jet was forced to make an emergency landing on Monday.
A F-35 fighter jet was forced to land on Monday as it was en route to Nevada, making a landing at a Texas airport.
The jet, which part of the Air Force’s new fleet of fighter jets, was flying from a Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth, Texas to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, reported Reuters.
When a caution light appeared on in the cockpit, the pilot had to make a landing at the nearest airport in Lubbock, Texas. The pilot landed the F-35 Lightning II without incident, a spokesman with Lockheed Martin told Everything Lubbock.
Gary Loftus, an operations manager at the airport, said that a protective fence surrounded the fighter jet at the airport.
“Nobody can get to the airplane,” he told Reuters.
A maintenance team from Lockheed was sent to Lubbock to repair the jet and figure out the reason why the light came on.
Already this year, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program—the most expensive Pentagon weapons program—has been grounded twice for engine issues, reported Reuters.
Last week, test pilots were quoted as saying in a Pentagon report that the plane had too many problems and could get them killed if they were to ever see combat.
“The head rest is too large and will impede aft [rear] visibility and survivability during surface and air engagements,” one test pilot said, according to the Washington Times.
Another pilot also said that visibility is necessary and if problems arise, it “will get the pilot [gunned]” down in a dogfight.
The Pentagon is slated to spend $316 billion on the F-35 program until 2037, which does not include the billions of dollars already spent on it.
“Overall, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program is now moving in the right direction after a long, expensive, and arduous learning process. It still has tremendous challenges ahead,” the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office said in a report sent to Reuters on Monday.
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