US Air Force F-35 crashes while landing in Florida base

U.S. Air Force photo

An F-35A Lightning II crashed near Eglin Air Force Base, Florida. The pilot managed to eject and survived.

The fighter jet was assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron of the 33d Fighter Wing based in Eglin. It was landing during a night training exercise when it crashed on May 19, 2020. The pilot ejected and was recovered, and was transported to the 96th Medical Group Hospital for medical care. No other damage than the loss of the aircraft was reported.

It is the second crash in less than a week to affect the base. On May 15, 2020, an F-22 Raptor belonging to the 325 Fighter Wing crashed during a routine training flight. The pilot was able to eject safely.

It is the second crash ever for an F-35 of the US military. An F-35B was lost near Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort in 2018. Worldwide, an F-35A belonging to the Japan Self Defense Forces crashed on April 9, 2019.

Eglin Air Force Base houses the Formal Training Unit for the F-35 Lightning II. Since Tyndall Air Force Base was damaged by Hurricane Michael in October 2018, Eglin also took over the training of F-22 pilots.

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