Jan 23, 2013
Precautionary Suspension of F-35B Flight Operations
The F-35 Joint Program Office issued a precautionary suspension of flight operations today (Friday — 18 Jan) for development and test F-35B Short Takeoff and Vertical Landing (STOVL) variants. A similar action was taken by Naval Air Systems Command for all F-35B production aircraft operating at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.; Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz.; and at Lockheed Martin’s production facility in Fort Worth, Texas.
These actions were taken as a result of an incident involving an F-35B at Eglin AFB. The precautionary flight suspension preserves safety while providing time for the program to understand the origin of a failure of a propulsion fueldraulic line. The line enables actuator movement for the STOVL vectoring exhaust system.
Static ground operations of F-35B STOVL aircraft will continue. Flight operations for F-35A or F-35C model aircraft are unaffected.