During a failed landing attempt at a Naval Reserve installation near Fort Worth, Texas, on Thursday morning, dramatic footage showed the moment a pilot ejected from an F-35B fighter jet.
The Lockheed Martin F-35B Lightning II jet was captured on cell phone video as it approached the runway at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth.
The aircraft touches down on the runway in what appears to be an attempt at a vertical landing, much like a helicopter might, before it nosedives forward and bounces slightly.
The pilot successfully ejects from the aircraft as it continues to spin and begins to fill with smoke from the nose. The pilot is then seen landing on the ground in the video.
A dramatic video captured the moment a pilot ejected from an F-35 fighter jet during a failed landing at a Naval Reserve base in Fort Worth, Texas. https://t.co/KI59ZjV7xN pic.twitter.com/QPv5SV0UHV
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) December 16, 2022
According to a statement posted on Facebook by the White Settlement Police Department, officers arrived at the scene of the collision at 10:15 local time.
Because the accident only involved military territory, some traffic restrictions were put in place so that the Department of Defense and Lockheed Martin could conduct an investigation there.
According to CBS DFW, the pilot was unharmed. Lockheed Martin claimed it was “informed” of the disaster and “that the pilot ejected successfully” in a statement to CBS News on Thursday. In addition, the business said it would “follow necessary investigation protocol.”
An investigation into the military’s F-35 fleet was started earlier this year due to a potential flaw in the ejection seat of the aircraft. According to the Stars and Stripes newspaper, all F-35 Lightning IIs were grounded throughout the investigation but were put back into service in August.
An F-35 fighter jet crashed at an Air Force facility in Utah in October, but the pilot managed to flee without suffering any significant wounds.