High-tech fighter jet's debut grounded
EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — The much-anticipated international debut of the military's new, high-tech fighter jet remained in limbo on Thursday, as officials scrambled to determine the cause of the fire that grounded the aircraft last week.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is visiting Eglin Air Force Base, where many of the F-35 fighter jets are based. Hagel met with the pilot who escaped the aircraft fire — the latest stumble in the military's most expensive fighter-jet program.
Military officials grounded the entire F-35 fleet last week while investigators try to determine why the aircraft caught fire on the runway on June 23 as it was about to take off for a training flight. The grounding has jeopardized plans to display the Marine Corps' version of the aircraft at two air shows in England.
After a series of briefings on Thursday, Hagel said the final analysis is being done.
“We're not going to put aircraft in the air unless we feel absolutely secure that it is safe,” Hagel said.
Three variants of the aircraft are being developed and built, one each for the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps. It is still in development and training and not yet being used in combat flight operations. The Marines expect to field its version of the F-35 next summer, the Air Force will follow in 2016, and the Navyin 2017.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Florida looks good: Farmer’s Almanac predicts ‘super-cold’ winter, above-average snow for Northeast
- Navy boots 34 in cheating scandal
- Scathing report says college trustees fail in mission
- ISIS beheads American photojournalist who was kidnapped 2 years ago in Syria
- More states pick up tab for ACT exams
- Poll: Common Core educational standards loses support
- Grand jury to hear evidence in Missouri shooting
- Latest Ferguson protests are smaller, more subdued
- Health care data breaches hit 30M patients and counting
- Irwin native among military personnel kept waiting for return of personal vehicle
- California breakup into 6 states would cleave rich, poor