Pilot Injured in F-35 Crash in New Mexico

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A pilot was hospitalized following an F-35 aircraft crash in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

According to Lt. Jason Fejer, Public Information Officer for Albuquerque Fire Rescue, the incident happened shortly before 2 p.m. local time. The pilot ejected safely but sustained serious injuries and was rushed to the hospital.

“The pilot was transported with serious injuries requiring immediate attention,” Fejer told KTSM. “Two other civilians were assessed on the scene. One declined further medical attention, and the other was a nonpatient impacted by debris.”

Footage from the site revealed that the aircraft crashed shortly after takeoff. The plane was a developmental model of the F-35, according to CBS News reported, citing two Defense Department officials.

The F-35, a single-seat aircraft, had no other crew onboard during the incident. The cost of the aircraft is approximately $80 million.

The Federal Aviation Administration referred questions to the Marines when contacted for comments.

The F-35 program has encountered around 15 accidents, including one fatal incident, over more than 840,000 flight hours and 990 aircraft, according to manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

The aircraft has faced performance challenges over the years, with a Government Accountability Office report indicating that as of March 2023, the aircraft was mission-capable roughly 55% of the time.

The F-35 was also in the news recently when the Marines lost one for 25 hours in September after its pilot ejected.

Brady Knox
Brady Knox
Brady Knox is a breaking news reporter with a particular focus on Russia, Eastern Europe, and foreign affairs. Hailing from Pittsburgh, he graduated from Miami University in 2022 with a bachelor's degree in Russian, Eastern European, and Eurasian studies and political science.

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