Jun 25, 2014
F-35As grounded at Eglin after Monday's fire
The planes are grounded while officials investigate the cause of the fire. The base expects that the initial investigation will last one day, and that the aircraft will be cleared to resume flights Wednesday.
Other variants of the aircraft, the F-35B and F-35C, are not flying Tuesday, but that is due to “unfriendly weather” in Florida rather than concerns about the aircraft.
At about 9:15 a.m. Monday, fire broke out on the aft end of an F-35A piloted by an instructor pilot, who was taking off as part of a two-ship formation for a continuation training mission. The pilot was able to stop the jet, shut down the engine and egress safely.
Last February, the Defense Department grounded all F-35s for about a week after a crack was found in the engine of the Marine Corps F-35B variant. An investigation found that heat cracked a blade in the engine of the aircraft.