02:33 GMT +321 August 2019
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    U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon, right, and F-35A Lightning IIs assigned to the 34th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron Hill Air Force Base, Utah, taxi toward the end of the runway during the exercise VIGILANT ACE 18 at Kunsan Air Base, South Korea

    F-35A Experiences ‘Ground Mishap' on US Base After Nose Gear Collapses (PHOTO)

    © AP Photo / Senior Airman Colby L. Hardin/U.S. Air Force
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    An F-35A Lighting II wound up with some bumps and bruises on Wednesday at the Eglin Air Force Base in Florida after the aircraft's nose gear suddenly collapsed, leaving it face down on the runway.

    The "ground mishap" took place at 12:50 p.m., moments after the multirole fighter experienced an "in-flight emergency" that forced it to land, according to a Facebook post on the 33rd Fighter Wing's page. The aircraft is assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron, a joint graduate flying and maintenance training wing for F-35 variants on the Florida base.

    ​Fire crews were called to the scene, but the lone pilot aboard the fighter did not sustain any injuries from the collapse, according to the Facebook post.

    Lena Lopez, a spokesperson for the 33rd Fighter Wing, told Military.com that it's unclear when officials will be able to release more details about the accident, as the investigation has only just begun.

    Presently, the extent of the damages and the costs associated with repairs are unclear.

    Per Defense News, US Navy pilots experienced similar issues with the F-35's front landing gear in 2017, with many complaining that the jet would "bob up and down" and make it difficult to read the plane's instruments while taking off on the runway.

    At roughly the same time the nose dive was taking place, a second F-35 "experienced a bird strike," according to the Northwest Florida Daily News. Officials told the publication that such incidents are "fairly common," adding that servicemembers who encounter such a situation are instructed to examine the bird and then send samples to the Smithsonian Marine Station to find out more information about it.


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