Report details cause of F-35 crash in Beaufort

Report details cause of F-35 crash in Beaufort
Crews on scene of the crash in Beaufort last year

BEAUFORT COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - An office of the federal government has released a report which details why an F-35 jet crashed in the Beaufort area last year.

The Government Accountability Office releases a yearly report which detailed the cause as a manufacturing defect.

“Recently, following the crash of an F-35B in October 2018, the program grounded the F-35 fleet to inspect all of its engines,” the report stated. “An investigation determined a manufacturing defect caused an engine fuel tube to rupture during flight, resulting in a loss of power to the engine. The program office reported that it identified 117 aircraft with the same type of fuel tubes that it must replace. According to program officials, the grounding generally did not impact the delivery of the aircraft, as the contractor has provided replacement fuel tubes that were installed on a majority of the affected aircraft by the end of 2018.”

On Sept. 28, 2018, the jet crashed in the vicinity of Little Barnwell Island at 11:45 a.m. The Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office said the crash happened near Clarnedon Road and Joe Allen Drive.

The jet was from the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing and belongs to Marine Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Beaufort, Maj. Jordan Cochran said.

The U.S. Marine pilot safely ejected from the single-seat aircraft.

He was treated for minor injuries at Beaufort Memorial Hospital, released and recovering at home, according to the military.

There were no civilian injuries, Cochran said.

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