South Korean stealth fighter makes emergency ‘stomach touchdown’

In response to specialists, the “stomach touchdown” — touching down with touchdown gear retracted — was an unprecedented occasion for the $100 million US-designed stealth fighter now in use or on order by greater than a dozen international locations.

“The jet did an emergency touchdown because the touchdown gear didn’t prolong. This could imply the jet did the ‘stomach touchdown,'” mentioned a South Korean army official, who wouldn’t affirm whether or not the plane suffered any injury within the incident.

Even when it did, it might reveal very good flying abilities by the pilot, whom officers mentioned walked away from the touchdown, in accordance with a South Korean army official.

“A gear-up touchdown on the F-35 could also be fairly troublesome and harmful due to the angle of assault the plane has on strategy to landing,” mentioned David Cenciotti, a former Italian air power officer and editor of The Aviationist weblog.

“The F-35 lands actually quick. It isn’t an F-16, 18 or 111,” mentioned Peter Layton, a former Australian air power officer now on the Griffith Asia Institute, referring to older, much less refined army plane than the F-35.

“I am very shocked the emergency gear down programs did not work, or weren’t used,” he mentioned.

Layton additionally expressed shock that the South Korean pilot did not eject, “however clearly they did the correct factor,” he mentioned.

An investigation into the incident was underway, South Korean officers mentioned.

South Korea obtained its first US-made F-35 in 2019 as a part of an preliminary order of 40 of the single-engine jets, in accordance with the aircraft’s producer, Lockheed Martin.

South Korea's new aircraft carrier could look like a mini HMS Queen Elizabeth

Variations of the F-35 are additionally flown by the US Air Pressure, Navy and Marine Corps in addition to US allies and companions together with Japan, the UK, Australia, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands and Israel. Extra international locations have orders in for the jet.

Tuesday’s accident is the primary for a South Korean F-35, however the jets have been concerned in a minimum of eight different incidents, in accordance with information stored by crowdsourced web site F-16.internet.

The newest of these was the lack of a British F-35, which crashed into the Mediterranean Sea off the plane provider HMS Queen Elizabeth in November. The pilot ejected safely from that aircraft.
In Might 2020, the pilot ejected safely when a US Air Pressure F-35 crashed on touchdown at Eglin Air Pressure Base in Florida. The Air Pressure attributed the crash to quite a lot of a elements involving the pilot and the aircraft’s programs.
In April 2019, a Japanese F-35 crashed into the Pacific Ocean off northern Japan, killing its pilot. The Japanese army blamed that crash on spatial disorientation, “a state of affairs by which a pilot can’t sense appropriately the place, perspective, altitude, or the movement of an airplane,” in accordance with the journal Army Medication.

Lockheed Martin says the F-35 “is probably the most deadly, survivable and linked fighter plane on the earth, giving pilots a bonus towards any adversary and enabling them to execute their mission and are available dwelling secure.”


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