F-35 fighter jet declares emergency on routine flight

F-35 fighter jet declares emergency on routine flight

By Sam Russell, Press Association

An F-35 Lightning fighter jet based at RAF Marham in Norfolk declared an emergency while on a routine flight near its base.

It landed safely after experiencing a “minor technical issue” on Thursday.

An RAF spokesman said on Friday: “The RAF can confirm an F35 Lightning experienced a minor technical issue during a routine flight last night.

“The aircraft landed safely.”

An emergency squawk is used to identify an aircraft with a possible issue and enables it to have priority over other air traffic.

It does not necessarily mean the aircraft has an emergency, but flight safety is paramount and if there is any doubt pilots will recover to a suitable base or airfield as soon as possible.

The first of the multimillion-pound F-35s arrived at RAF Marham in June 2018 and Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson has pledged the UK will buy 138 in total.

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