EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) — The much-anticipated international debut of the military's new, high-tech fighter jet is in limbo as officials scramble to determine the cause of the fire that grounded the aircraft last week.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is visiting Eglin Air Force Base, where many of the F-35 fighter jets are based. And he met with the pilot who escaped the aircraft fire - the latest stumble in the military's most expensive fighter jet program.
U.S. military officials grounded the entire F-35 fleet last Thursday while investigators try to determine why the aircraft caught fire on the runway at Eglin one June 23 as it was about to take off for a training flight. The grounding has jeopardized plans to display the Marine Corps version of the aircraft at two airshows in England.