Brand-New F-35 Crashes into New Mexico Hillside, Pilot Injured After Ejecting

By Jose Resurreccion

May 29, 2024 05:54 AM EDT

Brand-New F-35 Crashes into New Mexico Hillside, Pilot Injured After Ejecting
F-35B combat aircraft from the United States Marine Corps and the RAF prepare to refuel from an RAF Voyager aircraft over the North Sea on October 08, 2020 in flight, above Scotland.
(Photo : Leon Neal/Getty Images)

This week, a new Lockheed Martin F-35B fighter jet crashed near New Mexico's Albuquerque International Sunport. 

Business Insider reported that emergency services located the crash site on a hillside near Sunport on Tuesday (May 28).

ABC News added that the pilot, an unnamed US official identified as working for a defense contract agency, ejected from the plane but sustained serious injuries.

Albuquerque Fire Rescue spokesperson Lt. Jason Fejer said the pilot was found conscious and taken to the hospital for treatment. 

Two other people, both civilians, were assessed for injuries but were later released. 

Two other unnamed US officials told CBS News that the F-35B involved in the crash was a new developmental model delivered to the US military from a Lockheed Martin facility in Fort Worth, Texas, to Edwards Air Force Base in California. 

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About the F-35B

The F-35B is one of three modern Lockheed Martin fighter jet models. The variant can perform short take-off and vertical landing (STOVL), and fighter pilots of the United States Marine Corps (USMC) typically use it. This capability is required whenever it lands on the US Navy's amphibious assault ships and allied aircraft carriers.

In addition to the US Marines, the UK's Royal Navy and the Japanese Maritime Self-Defense Force are using or are in the process of procuring F-35Bs for their Queen Elizabeth-class and Izumo-class carriers, respectively.

The last time an F-35 crashed was in September when the pilot ejected during training over South Carolina. The fighter went missing before it was located about 80 miles (129 km) from the location of the downed pilot.

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