61st FS F-35 Ground Emergency At Mt. Home AFB
(Source: Air Combat Command; issued Sept 26, 2016)
LUKE AFB, Ariz. --- A U.S. Air Force F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 56th Fighter Wing experienced a ground emergency at about 12:20 p.m. EDT Sept. 23 at Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho.

The aircraft was preparing to conduct a training mission at Mountain Home AFB at the time of the incident. However, the pilot had to egress the aircraft during engine start due to a fire from the aft section of the aircraft. The fire was extinguished quickly.

As a precautionary measure, four 61st Aircraft Maintenance Unit airmen, three airmen from the 366th Maintenance Group and the 61st Fighter Squadron pilot were transported to the base medical center for evaluation and have since been released.

Seven Luke F-35s are at Mountain Home Sept. 10-24 utilizing the base’s range for surface-to-air training.

(EDITOR’S NOTE: Three days after the incident, the Air Force has still not determined whether the fire involved the engine or another part of the “aft section” of the aircraft, although what other “aft section” part can catch fire is not immediately clear.)


Air Force Investigation of F-35 Fire Includes Engine (excerpt)
(Source: CT Mirror; published September 26, 2016)
By Ana Radelat
WASHINGTON --- The Air Force is investigating a fire that grounded an F-35 during a training mission in Idaho, and hasn’t ruled out problems with a Pratt & Whitney-made engine, although there is no evidence of that yet.

Lt. Col. Matt Hasson, spokesman for Luke Air Force Base in Arizona, said seven F-35 aircraft flew from his base to Mountain Home Air Force Base for training missions, but one could not return on Friday because it caught fire and was grounded.

He said the fire was in the “aft portion,” or rear area, of the fighter jet and no one was hurt.

Hasson also said the cause of the fire is unknown, although some media have called it an engine fire. All of the F-35 engines are made by Pratt & Whitney.

“Everybody is calling it an engine fire, I don’t know why,” Hasson said. “We haven’t determined it was an engine fire. It could be, but we haven’t determined that.” (Emphasis added—Ed.)

The investigation into the fire could take up to two weeks to determine its cause.


Unlike the fire in Florida, the most recent F-35 fire is being investigated “locally,” Hasson said, and no planes have been grounded. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the CT Mirror website.


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