Here Are More Photos Of The USMC F-35C That Suffered A Nose Gear Collapse At NAS Fallon

F-35C nose gear
Front view of the F-35C sitting on the EOTS after the nose landing gear collapse. (Photo: Reader’s submission)

Take a look at these new shots showing the U.S. Marine Corps F-35C of VMFA-311 that ended resting on its EOTS at NAS Fallon, Nevada, after its nose gear collapsed.

As already reported, a U.S. Marine Corps F-35C Lightning II, with Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA) 311 at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, one of the two USMC units flying the CV (Carrier Variant) of the F-35 (the other being VMFA-314) and the most recent one to be declared Safe For Flight, suffered a nose landing gear collapse while parked at Naval Air Station Fallon, on Jan. 26, 2024.

A reader that wishes to remain anonymous has submitted some photos of the mishap aircraft, airframe CF-89/170109, coded “WL-04”, that was parked under a sunshade after returning from an uneventful training flight when the accident occurred: in fact, according to the unverified report we received, after shutting down the aircraft without problems, the pilot started climbing down the ladder when the nose landing gear began retracting slowly.

Upon reaching the halfway point, the nose landing gear fully collapsed. It’s not clear whether the nose gear pins were installed after the aircraft returned to its parking slot under a sunshade or the lack of the safety pins was the root cause of the incident.

This is, to our knowledge, the first time an F-35C suffers a nose landing gear “collapse” whereas similar incidents have occurred in the past only on the A and B variants (the latter while being towed).

In this post you can find some more images we were sent, showing the aircraft resting on its Electro-Optical Targeting System. The extent of the damage, if any, is unclear, although the glass of the EOTS seems to be intact.

A three-quarter rear view of the mishap aircraft. (Photo: Reader’s submission)

As explained in our previous article on the mishap, we reached out to NAS Fallon PAO for further details and comment but we haven’t received any answer yet.

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.