Here are the photos of the U.S. Air Force F-35A damaged by engine fire last year


The U.S. Air Force has released the report and photos of the mishap suffered by an F-35A Lightning II  in June 2014.

A U.S. Air Force Air Education and Training Command (AETC) Investigation Board team has completed the investigation into the mishap occurred to an F-35A assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron, 33rd Fighter Wing, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, on Jun. 23, 2014.

According to the report, the F-35A suffered a failure of the third-stage rotor of the engine fan module. The aircraft was taking off for a training mission when the engine caught fire: the pilot safely aborted the takeoff and exited the aircraft.

Although emergency crews responded to the burning aircraft and extinguished the fire, the F-35A was heavily damaged: “Pieces of the failed rotor arm cut through the engine’s fan case, the engine bay, an internal fuel tank, and hydraulic and fuel lines before exiting through the aircraft’s upper fuselage. Damage from the engine failure caused leaking fuel and hydraulic fluid to ignite and burn the rear two thirds of the aircraft. The total mishap damage is estimated to be in excess $50 million.”

The mishap caused a fleetwide grounding that prevented the F-35 to attend Farnborough International Air Show.

F-35 damaged detail

Image credit: U.S. Air Force via Alert5


About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


    • You mean like the A-7, F-8, A-4, and a plethora of other USN carrier aircraft? This also may have escaped your attention but twins crash due to engine failures too. But ultimately, the USN ran the numbers, you did not. They’re confident with a single-engine aircraft.

  1. This F-35A AF-27 10-5015 was written off due to fire and engine shrapnel damage.

  2. Thought this sort of thing was only supposed to happen to Russian stealth fighters.

      • I just remember all of the flak Russia was getting in the media about their pak-fa catching on fire. How it seemed to be blamed on everything from the “incompetence” of their engineers to their economy. This happening to a USA aircraft likely won’t lead to such accusations, but rather, “it’s just another accident” viewpoint.

        • Then maybe you weren’t going to enough media outlets or aviation places. There was more smack thrown and talked about the F-35 than there was about the PAKFA. Critics, detractors and haters still point to last years engine fire as “proof” that the F-35 was/is no good. You mention the PAKFA’s engine fire and all you hear is crickets.

    • Pretty much every time a new aircraft crashes and is still remotely recognizable, they claim the will repair it. But the damage is probably much more than 50 million, and the plane was already in need of updating to the newest standard. I highly doubt the will repair it.

  3. How many F-16s had become lawn darts and how many fatalities by this point in the F-16 program?

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