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​​​SrA. Ethan Wayson and MSgt. Lance Murphy of the 34th Aircraft Maintenance Unit at Hill AFB, Utah, go to work on the F-35A Lightning II Aug. 29, 2017. Air Force photo.

All F-35s Grounded Following USMC F-35B Crash

The F-35 Joint Program Office on Wednesday directed all global operators, including the US Air Force, to ground F-35 operations for a fleet-wide inspection following last month’s crash of a Marine Corps F-35B in South Carolina. The inspection will focus on fuel tubes inside the F-35 engines. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.

Tyndall Suffers “Catastrophic Damage” After Michael’s Direct Hit

Tyndall AFB, Fla., took a direct hit from Hurricane Michael, causing “widespread catastrophic damage” to base infrastructure that will have lasting impacts on USAF operations. All personnel tapped to “ride out” the storm have been accounted for and are uninjured, but nearly all base housing was damaged. Aerial footage showed massive holes in the roof of a hangar where QF-16 targeting drones and twin-propeller aircraft were placed to ride out the storm. Tyndall is home to F-22 training and the site of Air Forces Northern’s main operations center. Read the full story by Brian Everstine.


F-22 Damaged After Emergency Landing at JB Elmendorf-Richardson

An F-22 at JB Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska, made an emergency landing at about 1 p.m. Wednesday and ended up off the runway because of a landing gear malfunction resulting in an unidentified amount of damage. The aircraft, assigned to the 3rd Wing at JBER, touched down on an active runway, but did not stop until it was partially off the tarmac and resting on its side, according to a picture of the scene. The pilot was able to egress safely, the wing said in a statement. The incident is under investigation, and more details may be released if they become available. A picture of the aircraft, posted Wednesday on the unofficial Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook page, shows the aircraft leaning to its left side, surrounded by emergency response vehicles. The 3rd Wing did not say what type of training the aircraft was flying, though Red Flag 19-1 is underway at JBER and Eielson AFB, Alaska. The incident follows two mishaps earlier this year involving Elmendorf F-22s. On April 6, a JBER F-22 suffered engine failure at Tyndall AFB, Fla., and the pilot was able to land safely. On April 13, another F-22 suffered engine failure during takeoff and skidded on the runway. —Brian Everstine

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Lockheed Declines to Submit T-X Protest

Lockheed Martin has opted not to protest the $9.2 billion T-X advanced trainer contract the Air Force awarded to Boeing on Sept. 27, removing a potential hurdle to getting the program started right away. Lockheed said it still believes its T-50A offered the “most capability” but it won’t challenge USAF’s choice. Leonardo of Italy also offered an in-production aircraft for the T-X contest, a variant of its M-346 Master called the T-100, but has not yet said whether it will protest the Boeing win. Read the full story by John A. Tirpak.


Soyuz Launch to ISS Aborted; NASA Astronaut, Russian Cosmonaut “In Good Condition”    

The Soyuz MS-10 launch intended to deliver a NASA astronaut and a Russian cosmonaut to the International Space Station was aborted Thursday morning due to a booster anomaly, NASA said in a statement. USAF Col. Nick Hague—a decorated flight-test engineer who graduated from and taught at the Air Force Academy—and Russia’s Alexey Ovchinin “are in good condition following” the incident, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine said in a statement, promising “a thorough investigation” into what caused it. Read the full story by Jennifer-Leigh Oprihory.


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RADAR SWEEP


—New KC-46 weapons system trainer and boom operator trainer simulators have been installed and are ready for testing at Pease ANGB, N.H., in advance of the first aircraft arriving in August 2019: ANG release.


—Air Force Personnel Center locations at four bases will realign to Air Force Materiel Command in a pilot program aimed at improving the Air Force’s civilian hiring process: Wright-Patterson release.

—The 563rd Rescue Group, a geographically separated unit out of Moody AFB, Ga., based at Davis-Monthan AFB, Ariz., was realigned to the 355th Fighter Wing at Davis-Monthan on Oct. 1. The group flies HC-130s and HH-60s, which work closely with 355th FW A-10s on search and rescue: 355th FW release.

—An alleged Chinese spy, accused of trying to steal trade secrets from US defense aviation firms, has been extradited to the US for trial: The Washington Post.