A pilot ejected from a Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II fighter jet Thursday morning at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, during a botched landing.
“We are aware of the F-35B crash on the shared runway at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth,” a Lockheed spokesman said, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Safety is our priority, and we will follow appropriate investigation protocol.”
#Breaking New much clearer video, courtesy Kitt Wilder, of STOL variant F35 B model landing JRB Fort Worth, and pilot ejects. Condition of pilot still unknown. @CBSDFW pic.twitter.com/BeERIeyhtO
— Doug Dunbar (@cbs11doug) December 15, 2022
The video of the incident shows the F-35B hovering, then touching down, then elevating again, and tipping forward. Its wheels seem to collapse underneath the aircraft and damage the front of the plane. After the plane spun 180 degrees and back, the pilot ejected.
The Defense Department and Lockheed Martin contacted White Settlement police at about 10:15 a.m., the Star-Telegram reported. Police said there were no fire reports. The pilot “landed apparently without injury,” according to CBS DFW. (RELATED: Plane With Two-Time Olympic Champion On It Crashes While Returning Home From Competition)
The Lockheed Martin plant in Fort Worth is next to the military base, where the company tests the F-35. The Marine Corps operates the F-35B and can take off in a short distance and land like a helicopter, the outlet reported.