This F-35A Belly Landing Lead To A Grounding Of An Entire F-35A Fleet
According to officials, South Korea is grounding an entire F-35 fighter jets fleet after a dramatic emergency landing. One of South Korean F-35A’s landing gear stopped working last week at an air force base west of the country and the pilot chose to do a belly landing without ejecting.
Defense ministry officials said,
“With the investigation underway, the entire (F-35) fleet is suspended from flying”
“The military had to spray a special kind of foam to prevent any explosion that could happen due to the friction caused by the runway surface making contact with the F-35A belly at high speed.” Republic of Korea Air Force vice-chief of staff Shin Ok-chul said in a statement.
The pilot was flying the F-35A at a low altitude and the bangs heard during flight prompted him to check out the aircraft systems. Then he found out that all systems had stopped working except the flight controls and the engine. Then the pilot decided not to eject and instead attempted a belly landing.
Korea Air Force vice-chief of staff said that “It was the first time that an F-35 pilot attempted a belly landing.”
South Korea received its first batch of F-35A variants after 5 years of the order in 2014 from its American maker Lockheed Martin.
The F-35 is a superior fighter jet in the world featuring stealth technology and also the most expensive weapons system that the United States has ever developed.