On the heels of 13 of the Air Force’s F-35s being grounded due to problems with coolant line insulation, one of the $100 million fighter jets caught fire on the tarmac late last week, according to Defense News.
As the pilot was starting the engine, a fire broke out in the aft section of the F-35 Lightning II (model F-35A) on Friday, the military website reported, and the pilot had to make a quick exit. There were no injuries and it has yet to be determined if the fire originated in the engine.
The F-35 is attached to the 61st Fighter Squadron at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona but was at Mountain Home Air Force Base in Idaho for exercises. According to the Luke website, F-35 pilots there have logged more than 10,000 flight hours.
The 13 F-35s that were grounded on Sept. 16 included planes from Luke. Two other F-35s belonging to Norway and being used in training were also grounded.