F-22 incident hints faulty engine
An F-22 Raptor of the 3rd Air Force Wing reportedly had an incident during takeoff at the air training center NAS Fallon. According to pictures on social media, the fighter skidded along the runway before coming to a stop. The pilot exited the aircraft unharmed.
The picture taken from behind the aircraft shows the two engine vectoring-nozzles in different modes. While the right engine is in “idle” mode, the left one has its paddles in downward deflecting position. This could hint at a failure from the left engine.
The Facebook page Air Force Forum quotes anonymous sources allegedly in the know, stating that “the slide happened on takeoff. Appears to have been a left engine flameout when the pilot throttled up to take off. By the time he realized the engine was dead, he had already been airborne for a few seconds and raised the gear.” They add that it is the second power-loss on an F-22 in less than a week.
The F-22 Raptor was on base as an adversary aircraft for the training of pilots from the United States Navy Fighter Weapons School, the infamous “Top Gun” program. The plane is reportedly in repairable condition. No official statement about the incident is released yet but it was confirmed that an investigation is underway to identify the reasons of the mishap.
The incident is quite similar to a previous one in which a human mistake was to blame. On May 31, 2012, a student pilot retracted his landing gear before applying enough thrust power, resulting in the aircraft also skidding on its belly. The trainee only suffered minor injuries. The repairs on the F-22 took six years and costed about $35 million.
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