An F-22 Raptor fighter jet suffered a mishap upon landing at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, on Tuesday, a spokesperson for the 325th Fighter Wing told Air Force Times. No one was hurt in the accident.
According to unverified photos posted to social media that afternoon, the jet’s left main landing gear collapsed when it touched down on the runway around 10 a.m. local time. The destabilized plane veered off and came to a stop, resting nose-down in the grass.
“The pilot is in good condition and has been released from the 96th Medical Group’s care following evaluation,” Capt. Sarah Johnson said in an email Tuesday.
Johnson declined to comment on what caused the mishap or the damage incurred, citing an ongoing safety investigation.
F-22 landing gear woes are fairly common across the fleet.
An Air Combat Command inspection last year of the Raptors at Eglin, plus 10 percent of the fighters at other F-22 bases, found that at least one in five jets in the total F-22 inventory had an incorrectly rigged landing gear.
Nearly 40 F-22s were re-rigged because of that inspection, Air Force Times previously reported. The service owns nearly 190 Raptors.
It’s unclear whether configuring landing gears in a way other than specified in the instruction manual stops them from deploying, or if airmen rig them differently to solve a problem caused by doing it according to the manual’s specifications.
“The 325 FW continues to follow Air Force guidance and procedures for technical order updates,” Johnson said.
The wing’s flying operations — which includes the service’s only F-22 training unit — have been stationed at Eglin since Hurricane Michael wiped out much of nearby Tyndall Air Force Base in 2018.
Five Raptors had accidents costing more than $600,000 in fiscal 2021, according to Air Force Safety Center data.
Rachel Cohen is the editor of Air Force Times. She joined the publication as its senior reporter in March 2021. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, the Frederick News-Post (Md.), Air and Space Forces Magazine, Inside Defense, Inside Health Policy and elsewhere.