Failed landing sees pilot eject as military jet nosedives onto runway in Texas

US

A pilot safely ejected from a military jet after a failed landing that was caught on video in North Texas.

The F-35B took a nosedive and spiralled after its wheels briefly touched down on the shared runway at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth.

Video taken by people who were watching the plane come in show it slowly descending in a straight line as smoke appears in the rear of the aircraft before the nose digs into the runway and the jet spins to a stop.

The F-35B has special modifications that allow it to take off and land vertically like a helicopter.

(Pic: Kitt Wilder)
Image:
(Pic: Kitt Wilder)
(Pic: Kitt Wilder)
Image:
(Pic: Kitt Wilder)

At the Pentagon, a spokesman said the aircraft was being flown at the time of the crash by a US government pilot, although it had not been transferred to the military yet by manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

The pilot safely ejected, according to Pentagon spokesman Air Force General Pat Ryder.

The condition of the pilot is not known.

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Local police officers helped keep away a growing crowd of people who had stopped on a road or walked over after the plane went down.

(Pic: Kitt Wilder)
Image:
(Pic: Kitt Wilder)

“You never want to get that call that there is an aircraft down,” Chris Cook, White Settlement police chief said.

“We have a very fond spot in our community for the military. White Settlement is a military community.”

A spokesman for Lockheed Martin, the company that manufactures the plane involved, said in a statement that they were aware of the crash and were under the impression the pilot was safe.

“Safety is our priority, and we will follow appropriate investigation protocol,” it added.

This image taken from video provided by KDFW, shows emergency personnel at the scene after a fighter jet crash landed at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth, Texas, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022. The pilot safely ejected from a plane after a failed landing. (KDFW via AP)
Image:
The damaged jet on the runway at Fort Worth (Pic: KDFW via AP)

The failed landing came just over a month after two historic military aircraft collided during an airshow 40 miles (64km) away at the Dallas Executive Airport, killing six people.

A report from the National Transportation Safety Board said there had been no coordination of altitudes in briefings before the flight or while the planes were in the air.

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