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F-35 crash caused by technical glitch, distracted pilot

F-35 crash caused by technical glitch, distracted pilot
An F-35A Lightning II assigned to the 58th Fighter Squadron awaits permission to taxi as an F-22 Raptor assigned to the 27th Fighter Squadron takes off in the background in December 2018 at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. Photo by Peter Thompson/U.S. Air Force

Oct. 6 (UPI) -- The May crash of an F-35A Lightning II at Florida's Eglin Air Force base was caused by the pilot trying to land at an excessive speed, and a flight control logic glitch that left its tail unresponsive, according to a new report.

According to the report, the pilot was also fatigued, causing "cognitive degradation" and was distracted at a critical point in the flight and lacked key understanding of the flight-control logic.

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The pilot, who has not been identified, was safely ejected from the aircraft as it landed on the base and did not sustain serious injuries.

Investigators also found problems with the aircraft's oxygen system.

The pilot had nearly 138 hours of flight time in the F-35A, including slightly more than 53 instructor hours and eight night flying hours.

The May 19 crash was the second involving a fifth-generation fighter at Eglin that week, coming four days after an F-22 crash on the same base.

Leadership on the base subsequently put flights on hold on the base.

The report did not discuss corrective actions or flight safety restrictions as a result of the accident.

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