LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
NEWSCAST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

Following Crash, All F-35s Temporarily Grounded For Inspections

An F-35 jet arrives at its new operational base at Hill Air Force Base, in northern Utah, in 2015. The aircraft have been temporarily grounded for inspections after one crashed in South Carolina last month.

All F-35s fighter jets deployed to the U.S. and its allies have been temporarily grounded following a crash of one of the aircraft in South Carolina last month.

In a statement, the F-35 Joint Program Office said the U.S. and its international partners had suspended flights of the Joint Strike Fighter, also known as the Lightening II, until a fleet-wide inspection of the aircraft's fuel tubes is completed.

"If suspect fuel tubes are installed, the part will be removed and replaced," the statement said. "If known good fuel tubes are already installed, then those aircraft will be returned to flight status."

"Inspections are expected to be completed within the next 24 to 48 hours," the statement said.

After last month's crash of a Marine Corp F-35B variant, in which the pilot safely ejected, a preliminary investigation reportedly revealed the potentially faulty fuel tubes.

The Marine version of the airplane is capable of short takeoffs and vertical landings. The Air Force and Navy also have their own versions of the airplane.

Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Mike Andrews said some of the fighter jets have been inspected and are already flying again, according to The Associated Press.

The Joint Strike Fighter, which was under development for decades by the U.S. and its allies, is the most expensive weapons program of its type, ever. Even so, it has suffered numerous delays and cost overruns.

In the past, President Trump has been a harsh critic of the airplane and its $1 trillion price tag, calling the project "out of control." Besides the U.S., the U.K., Italy, the Netherlands and several other U.S. allies are involved in the program.

According to the AP, "the decision ... involves more than 250 U.S.-owned jets, as well as nearly 100 that belong to other nations. About half the F-35s are believed to have the faulty tube, and they include aircraft owned by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps."

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)
contact@kansaspublicradio.org