Air Force begins flying F-35s again after checking ejection seats


All F-35s in US Air Force Inventory are airworthy once again, following a series of ejection seat inspections.

The fleet is back to normal operations following an inspection of 706 seat initiator cartridges from 349 F-35s.

USAF Air Combat Command spokeswoman Alexi Worley stated that a small number of F-35As that were already in depot maintenance have not had their cartridges checked, but that those reviews would be done within the 90-day inspection deadline, which was initiated almost a month ago.

According to Defense News, ejection seat cartridges allow the seat to clear the cockpit.

In April, a USAF inspection of F-35s at Hill Air Force Base found one cartridge loose and missing magnesium charge.

In addition to the F-35, 203 T-38 Talon and 76 T-6 Texan II aircraft were also grounded for seat inspections.

Martin-Baker, the company that makes the seats, stated on August 7 that only the one seat had a bad cartridge.

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