F-35 Crashes Outside of Albuquerque Airport

F-35 Crashes Outside of Albuquerque Airport; Pilot in Serious Condition

MilitaryNews Writes

An Air Force test pilot was sent to the hospital in serious condition Tuesday afternoon after the F-35B Lightning II they were flying crashed near Albuquerque, New Mexico, service officials and the aircraft’s manufacturer told Military.com.

Several fire departments responded to reports of the crash just before 2 p.m. local time, and a spokesperson for Albuquerque Fire Rescue said that the pilot of the jet was transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.

The only person on board, the pilot, was conscious and taken to University of New Mexico Hospital with serious injuries, according to airport officials and Albuquerque Fire Rescue.

As of Tuesday evening, the pilot was in stable condition, according to a press release from Kirtland Air Force Base.

Two civilians were evaluated at the scene and neither person was transported, fire officials said.

The downed aircraft was a new F-35, a U.S. official told ABC News. A Defense Contract Management Agency pilot was flying the aircraft, which was being transferred from a Lockheed Martin factory to be handed over to the service, at the time of the crash, the official said.

Lockheed Martin said the F-35B was en route from Fort Worth, Texas, to Edwards Air Force Base in California when it crashed after refueling at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico.

“The pilot safely ejected,” Lockheed Martin said in a statement. “Safety is our priority, and we will follow appropriate investigation protocol.”

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