A pilot is safe after ejecting from an F-35B fighter jet on a runway at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base near Fort Worth, Texas. The runway is shared between the military and defense contractor Lockheed Martin.
“We are aware of the F-35B crash on the shared runway at Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth and understand that the pilot ejected successfully,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement to the Dallas Morning News. “Safety is our priority, and we will follow appropriate investigation protocol.”
While the company did not provide an update on the pilot, White Settlement Police Chief Christopher Cook said the pilot is “safe and under observation.”
“We responded to assist Lockheed Martin and Naval Air Station on a military aircraft crash where the pilot ejected. Update on pilot is that they are safe and under observation. Grateful for this news. We have opened up perimeter roads in the area,” Cook tweeted.
Video posted on Twitter by KTVT reporter Doug Dunbar shows the jet attempting to make a vertical landing. The plane touched down on the runway but then bounced back into the air. It then tipped forward, causing the nose hit the runway. The front landing gear snapped as the jet spun on the ground in a cloud of smoke. As the jet spun in the opposite direction, the pilot ejected and parachuted safely to the ground.
WARNING: VIDEO CONTAINS STRONG LANGUAGE