While one F-35A stealth fighter at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, was experiencing a nose gear malfunction Wednesday, another F-35 experienced a bird strike, Air Force officials confirmed Thursday.
"A bird strike involving an F-35A Lightning II was identified upon completion of a training mission yesterday just after 12:00 p.m.," Airman First Class Daniella Pena-Pavao, spokeswoman at the 33rd Fighter Wing, told Military.com Thursday in a statement. The Northwest Florida Daily News first reported the incident.
"This incident was unrelated to the ground mishap involving another F-35A assigned here," Pena-Pavao said.
Following the strike, maintenance personnel conducted "a thorough inspection" and determined the aircraft sustained no damage," she said. The pilot was unharmed, officials said.
"Samples were collected during the inspection that will be sent to the Smithsonian to identify bird species and assist in migration pattern analysis. Bird strikes are a frequent occurrence in aviation," Pena-Pavao said. (end of excerpt)
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