The head of the Pentagon's F-35 program has told a lawmaker that at least some of the flight restrictions stemming from a June engine fire will be lifted by early fall, a congressional aide tells Morning D.
In recent weeks, Lt. Gen. Christopher Bogdan has visited Capitol Hill multiple times to brief House and Senate Armed Services staffers about the ongoing investigation into the cause of the fire, which occurred during an aborted takeoff at Eglin Air Force Base in Florida.
During one of his visits, he stopped by the office of Rep. Jim Moran, a senior appropriator who has been critical of the F-35 program and wrote to Bogdan last month to request a meeting. According to an aide to Moran, Bogdan assured the Virginia Democrat "that all issues related to the engine fire will be resolved and that the flight restrictions will be lifted by early fall."
But in a statement, Bogdan said he believes he was referring to the military's roughly 20 test F-35s - not the entire fleet that also includes 81 operational aircraft. His office said flight restrictions won't be lifted until the "root cause of the engine failure and the associated fix is identified."