We send our young men and women into combat on fighter jets that are supposed to be the best in the world. Only one problem: An internal Air Force report says the ejection seats on F-35 fighter jets could get some of our pilots killed.
A spokesman for Rep. Niki Tsongas (D-MA), the top Democrat on the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces, said today the committee has asked the F-35 program office for further information. In addition, a Senate aide said the Armed Services Committee in that chamber has requested the Air Force's report and is monitoring the situation.
According to the report, disclosed by CQ Roll Call, when tested with mannequins, the F-35 seats would throw some pilots into a position where their necks could be broken.
Those tests were completed in 2015, and this past May the Air Force said it had fixed the problems. However, CQ Roll Call reported that an internal Air Force evaluation had documented that its own safety experts had concluded the seats were not fully fixed and some pilots could still be in danger.
What's taking so long? Why hasn't this been fixed? Why are we still endangering the lives of our pilots?