F-35 Grounded After Crash — Action News Now

After a serious malfunction caused a belly landing, Seoul stopped all operations involving trouble-prone American-made fighter jets


South Korea’s entire F-35 fighter fleet has been grounded because its military is investigating the cause of a landing gear failure that forced a pilot to make a dangerous forced landing, the latest failure of an American-made aircraft.

South Korean defense officials said on Wednesday that an unfortunate training flight earlier this week prompted investigations into possible causes of the malfunction, which affected many systems outside the aircraft’s landing gear.


“As the investigation progresses, the entire [F-35] The fleet is suspended,” An official told AFP.

At the hearing on the incident on Wednesday, South Korean Air Force Deputy Chief of Staff Shin Ok-chul said that when the F-35A’s pilot heard it, the F-35A was flying at low altitude near the country’s western base. “Bangs” Coming from somewhere on the plane, leading him to check the plane’s systems.


“Except for the flight control and engine, all systems stopped working,” Shin continued, noting that the pilot chose to perform an emergency abdominal landing—in this case, the aircraft taxied from the bottom to land safely in the event of a malfunction—rather than ejecting. According to reports, the pilot made the first-ever abdominal landing attempt on the F-35. Fortunately, he was unharmed.


Before the defensive maneuver, the runway of the air force base was quickly coated with special foam to prevent the aircraft from exploding due to friction and sparks generated when the aircraft scraped the tarmac at high speed.

Although Washington and American arms dealer Lockheed Martin touted the F-35 as one of the most advanced fighter jets ever, the project was a costly project for American taxpayers, who paid for the long-term delays. The aircraft has experienced breakdowns and cost overruns since its first official flight in 2006. Despite this, many American allies have lined up to buy this aircraft. Seoul ordered 40 for the first time in 2014 and received about a dozen in 2019.From then on Agree to buy more, Hoping to get more F-35s for its air force and navy.

The dramatic belly landing and grounding of the entire fleet in South Korea on Tuesday occurred after another British-operated F-35 attempted to crash into the Mediterranean during take-off from a British aircraft carrier in November last year, although its pilot was able to eject safely.


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