Pilot Ejected From F-35 Jetfighter Right As It Crashes In Viral Footage

In this video, a pilot ejects just as his jetfighter crashes!

By Chris Snellgrove | Updated

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These days, movies like Top Gun: Maverick have inspired a new generation to take to the skies as jetfighter pilots. However, things don’t always go smoothly for real-life pilots, including one pilot who recently had to eject from an F-35 jetfighter right before it crashed, according to Marine Corps Times. And it didn’t take long for intense footage of this Maverick-like crash event to go viral in a big way.

The pilot in question is an Air Force soldier who was performing a test flight in Texas recently. His mission was simple: the Defense Contract Management Agency wanted this pilot to help perform quality checks on the plane and its different instruments. Everyone expected this little jetfighter jaunt to be nothing more than a milk run, but this was when everything started to go wrong.

Thanks to the viral video, about as many people have seen what happened to this jetfighter as have seen the latest Top Gun. In the footage, it appears to bounce when attempting to make a landing. After that, the jet’s nose is pointed downward and it begins uncontrollably spinning. This causes the pilot inside to eject, and a parachute helps him land safely, far away from the runaway plane.

What exactly happened to make the jetfighter or the pilot lose control like that? Right now, Lockheed Martin has announced they will be looking into the matter even as our favorite fictional pilots have sparked an investigation. The company was quick to announce they were happy that the pilot is safe and that they remain completely committed to safety.

Unfortunately, safety is at the very heart of this particular jetfighter investigation. It’s possible that nothing more than the human error of a cocky pilot sent this F-35 careening out of control after a failed landing. If so, that would be very bad news for the pilot, but it would arguably be good news for Lockheed Martin.

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Tom Cruise’s Maverick who, as Val Kilmer’s Iceman said, was “dangerous” in Top Gun (1986)

That’s because the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base at Fort Worth where this all took place is more than just another military base. This is also where Lockheed Martin has an assembly line for the F-35 jetfighter. And the plane that crashed so spectacularly for the world to see was a special variant of the plane they manufacture.

In other words, if the jetfighter crashed due to some kind of mechanical error, this may not be an isolated incident. Worst case; faulty instruments, controls, or anything else that caused the incident could be installed in other jets made via the assembly line. Considering that these jets may cost $79 million dollars or more, solving this potential problem may be the only way to both save pilots’ lives and save the company from wasting countless taxpayer dollars.

In the meantime, our thoughts are with the jetfighter pilot who managed to successfully eject from his runaway plane. Now that the entire world has seen this clip, it’s easy to play “backseat pilot” and imagine the things we might have done differently. But this particular pilot did what he had to do to away and was recently released from the hospital with no injuries, so we wish him well as he tries to get back to life as normal.