At a routine press conference today, Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder further confirmed the crash and that the pilot had ejected safely. He added that a U.S. government pilot was at the controls at the time and that the F-35B in question was to be delivered to the U.S. government, but did not say specifically who the final intended customer might be.
The mishap involving the F-35 occurred sometime shortly before 10:15 AM local time, which is when the nearby White Settlement Police were called to the scene, according to a report from NBC DFW, a local NBC affiliate in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. White Settlement Police officers along with U.S. Navy and Lockheed Martin personnel secured the scene, White Settlement Police Chief Christoper Cook told that outlet.
“According to Cook, a Lockheed-owned jet suffered some sort of malfunction that forced the pilot to eject the aircraft,” NBC DFW reported. “Cook said the pilot safely ejected but had no other information about the pilot’s condition.”