A U.S Air Force F-35A Lightning II crashed while landing at Florida’s Eglin Air Force Base at approximately 9:30 p.m. local time on Tuesday. The pilot was able to eject successfully and was taken to the 96th Medical Group Hospital for evaluation and monitoring. According to base personnel, the aircraft was participating in a routine night training sortie at the time of the accident. The F-35A was assigned to the Eglin-based 58th Fighter Squadron. The name of the pilot has not been released.
As previously reported by AVweb, the accident is the second in four days to occur at the base following the crash of an F-22 Raptor last Friday. The pilot of the F-22 also ejected safely. Base commander Brig. Gen. Scott Cain announced that Eglin will take a “safety pause” and conduct a virtual safety day on Thursday as a result of the accidents.
“The events over the past few days remind us that the defense of our country can be a dangerous business,” Cain said. “We breathe a sigh of relief knowing the pilots of both aircraft were cared for by our medical team and released from the hospital.” Both accidents are currently under investigation by the Air Force.