Most F-35s Resume Flight Statusvia FEDweek
Now that inspections are complete, more than 80 percent of all F-35 Joint Strike Fighters that had been grounded are flying again. The F-35 Joint Program Office announced Oct. 15 that work continues with Pratt and Whitney, manufacturer of the plane’s engines, to replace fuel tubes with spare ones, and replenish the inventory supply. The remaining out-of-service aircraft should resume operations in the next few weeks, the program office stated.
The program office grounded all F-35s on Oct. 11, and called for inspections of the fuel tubes. Those with good fuel tubes were allowed to resume flight; those with faulty parts remained grounded until the parts could be replaced. The action arose after a Marine Corps F-35B crashed near Beaufort, S.C., on Sept. 28. The incident is under investigation by an aircraft mishap board.
“The primary goal following any mishap is the prevention of future incidents,” the program office stated. “We will take every measure to ensure safe operations while we deliver, sustain and modernize the F-35 for the warfighter and our defense partners.”