F-22 Raptor Forced to Make Belly Landing After Takeoff ‘Mishap’
An F-22 Raptor fighter aircraft sustained damage over the weekend after a takeoff “mishap.” The jet experienced a malfunction as it left the ground, leaving the pilot unable to continue the ascent. With the landing gear still up, the pilot was forced to bring the F-22 in for a landing, resulting in the aircraft’s belly contacting the ground.
The incident, which, according to a report by Popular Mechanics, is under investigation, occurred at Fallon Naval Air Station in Nevada.
During takeoff, the F-22’s left engine malfunctioned, and the pilot was not able to maintain enough thrust to continue the ascent.
The landing gear had already been retracted at the time of the malfunctioning and was not redeployed before the Raptor contacted the ground.
This resulted in a belly landing, with the aircraft skidding and bouncing down the runway for over a mile.
Air Force amn/nco/snco posted images from the incident on their Facebook page. In the message, they stated that “it’s looking like the second engine failure on Elmo jets in a 7 day period.”
The US Air Force confirmed the accident took place and stated that the damage to the F-22 appeared to be repairable. The pilot was able to exit the aircraft and did not sustain any major injuries.
Removing the Raptor, which belonged to Elmendorf Air Force Base’s 3rd Wing, from the runway required the use of a crane.
The F-22 was supporting the Navy Strike Fighter Tactics Instructor program at NAS Fallon at the time of the incident. It was made available so that US Navy could participate in dissimilar air combat training (DACT).
DACT challenges US military pilots to fight against members from other services and, at times, other countries, allowing them to encounter jets that have different characteristics and capabilities than those with which they are familiar.