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US suspends all F-35 operations worldwide

U.S. Marine Sgt. Maj. Allen Goodyear, the squadron sergeant major for Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 211, Marine Aircraft Group 13, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, signals for an F-35B Lightning II to launch from the flight deck of the USS Essex during Exercise Dawn Blitz, Oct. 24, 2017. (U.S. Marine Corps April Price/Flickr)
October 11, 2018

The U.S. Dept. of Defense has temporarily halted all F-35 fighter jet operations worldwide after the plane’s first crash last month in South Carolina.

The issue cited are faulty engine fuel tubes.

All F-35s will be inspected over the next 48 hours and if the fuel tubes are rated in “good condition” that jet will be returned to flight.

Joe DellaVedova, spokesman for the Pentagon’s F-35 office said the inspections “are expected to be completed within the next 24 to 48 hours.”

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“If suspect fuel tubes are installed, the part will be removed and replaced,” he said. “If known good fuel tubes are already installed, then those aircraft will be returned to flight status.”

Here is the full statement from the F-35 Joint Program Office :

F-35 Fuel Tube Inspection and Flight Operations

The U.S. Services and international partners have temporarily suspended F-35 flight operations while the enterprise conducts a fleet-wide inspection of a fuel tube within the engine on all F-35 aircraft. If suspect fuel tubes are installed, the part will be removed and replaced. If known good fuel tubes are already installed, then those aircraft will be returned to flight status. Inspections are expected to be completed within the next 24 to 48 hours.

The action to perform the inspection is driven from initial data from the ongoing investigation of the F-35B that crashed in the vicinity of Beaufort, South Carolina on 28 September. The aircraft mishap board is continuing its work and the U.S. Marine Corps will provide additional information when it becomes available.

The primary goal following any mishap is the prevention of future incidents. 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.

 

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