Tuesday, September 04, 2018

F-35C suffered a Class A mishap while conducting aerial refueling (ingested debris from refueling basket)...

via USNI News.
An F-35C Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter flying from USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN-72) was damaged during an aerial refueling exercise, in the first major flight mishap for the carrier version of the JSF.

The engine of an F-35C from Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 125 was damaged while receiving fuel from an F/A-18F Super Hornet from VFA-103 on Aug. 22, Navy officials confirmed to USNI News. Debris from an aerial refueling basket was ingested into the F-35C’s engine intake, resulting in the damage, Naval Air Forces Atlantic spokesman Cmdr. Dave Hecht said on Tuesday.

Both fighters were able to land safely – the Super Hornet flew to Naval Air Station Oceana, Va., while the F-35C returned to Lincoln. No injuries were reported and the incident is currently under investigation, Hecht said.

Damage to the F-35C was reported as a Class A mishap – the most serious type for a military aircraft. An incident is classified as Class A when an aircraft suffers more than $2 million in damage, is totally destroyed or involves a serious or fatal injury to the aircrew. The damage to the F-35 was above the $2 million threshold, Hecht said. A new F135 engine for the JSF costs about $14 million, according to the most recent contract award to engine builder Pratt & Whitney.
Old skool Naval Test Pilots could write a simple but detailed report on the F-35C in one line.

"Unsuitable for use by Naval Air". 

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