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Pilot Ejects from Fighter Plane in Texas in Unsuccessful Landing
On Thursday, a failed landing at a military base in North Texas was caught on camera, and the pilot safely bailed from the aircraft. A Marine Corps F-35B fighter jet briefly touched down on the joint runway at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth before plunging into the air and spiraling.
People who were watching the plane land captured it on video as it gently descended in a straight line and smoke started to form in the back of the plane. The nose then dug into the runway and the jet spun to a stop. The F-35B can take off and land vertically like a helicopter thanks to unique modifications.
A spokeswoman for the Pentagon stated that although the aircraft had not yet been handed over to the military by its maker, Lockheed Martin, a U.S. government pilot was operating it at the time of the incident. According to Air Force Gen. Pat Ryder, spokesperson for the Pentagon, the pilot successfully evacuated from the aircraft. Unknown is the pilot’s state of health.
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According to Chris Cook, police chief of the close-by city of White Settlement, about a dozen neighborhood policemen arrived at the base where first responders and military officials were already present as a result of the event. Officers assisted in containing a swell of people who had gathered on a road or crossed it after the jet had crashed.
“Getting the news that an aircraft is down is a call you never want to receive, “Cullen added. “The military holds a special place in our community’s heart. It is a military community, White Settlement. A Navy spokeswoman directed any inquiries to Lockheed Martin, the aerospace and defense business that makes the concerned jet.
In a statement, representatives from Lockheed Martin said that while they were aware of the incident, they believed the pilot to be safe. The corporation stated in the statement that “safety is our priority, and we will follow appropriate investigation protocol.”
Just over a month had passed since a collision involving two vintage military aircraft 40 miles (64 kilometers) away at the Dallas Executive Airport that claimed six lives. According to a National Transportation Safety Board study, neither during preflight briefings nor while the aircraft was in the air, did there had been any coordination of altitudes.