Air Force officials are releasing few details on a recent F-22 “mishap” at Tyndall AFB, Fla., pending the results of a safety investigation board review. “Everything surrounding that incident is under investigation,” Herman Bell, spokesman for Tyndall’s 325th Fighter Wing, told the Daily Report June 8. The wing trains new F-22 pilots. The incident occurred on May 31 during an orientation course intended for new Raptor pilots to get familiar with the aircraft, said Bell. Although he said it’s not clear whether mechanical or pilot error caused the mishap, he noted that it was only the pilot’s second solo F-22 flight. The pilot was not injured, but the aircraft suffered “a number of scrapes on the bottom,” leading maintainers to tow it from the scene, he said. The F-22 is “still fully intact,” noted Bell. Officials are still assessing the repair costs, but Bell said he thought the accident likely would be classified as a Class A mishap. These types of accidents involve more than $1 million in damages. “The individual walked away unharmed. That’s the important thing,” said Bell.
An Air Force trailblazer’s career came to a close this weekend, as Maj. Gen. Jeannie M. Leavitt, the service’s first female fighter pilot, retired after 31 years in uniform.