KJZZ is a service of Rio Salado College,
and Maricopa Community Colleges

Copyright © 2024 KJZZ/Rio Salado College/MCCCD
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Investigators release report on what damaged an F-35 engine at Luke Air Force Base

The Air Force has released findings of an investigation into what caused major damage to an F-35 fighter jet at Luke Air Force Base in the West Valley.

F-35 engines are made by the company Pratt & Whitney. The Air Force report says they cost $14 million.

Last March, a Luke Air Force Base crew was testing an F-35 for fuel leaks. As the jet’s engine shut down, the crew heard a noise.

Investigators say damage beyond local repair was caused by a handheld flashlight.

The engine ingested the flashlight, causing an estimated $3.9 million in damage.

They blame the accident on an incomplete tool inventory and the crew not following guidance on what to do before running an F-35’s engine.

More stories from KJZZ

Matthew Casey has won Edward R. Murrow awards for hard news and sports reporting since he joined KJZZ as a senior field correspondent in 2015.