A routine engine inspection revealed a crack on an engine blade of the F135 engine installed in F-35A aircraft AF-2 operating at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., the Department of Defense (DOD) announced Friday in a press statement. Engineering teams are shipping the engine's turbine module and its associated hardware to Pratt & Whitney's Engine Facility in Middletown, Conn., to conduct more thorough evaluation and root cause analysis. The F135 engine is built by Pratt & Whitney.
“As a precautionary measure, all F-35 flight operations have been suspended until the investigation is complete,” the Defense Department said. “It is too early to know the fleet-wide impact of the recent finding. The F-35 Joint Program Office is working closely with Pratt & Whitney and Lockheed Martin at all F-35 locations to ensure the integrity of the engine, and to return the fleet safely to flight as soon as possible.”