F-35B nose touches ground as plane is being towed in Japan

The nose of a Marine Corps stealth fighter jet touched the ground Thursday when its landing gear malfunctioned as it was being towed following a precautionary landing in Japan, according to service officials.

A pilot flying an F-35B Lightning II aircraft landed at Kadena Air Base in Okinawa at approximately 1:40 p.m. local time Dec. 1 because of a suspected electrical issue, according to a statement by Maj. Roberto Martins, a 1st Marine Aircraft Wing spokesperson.

“The pilot performed as trained and chose the safest option, landing the aircraft safely in accordance with standard procedures,” Martins said in the statement.

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While the plane was being towed, its front landing gear malfunctioned so that the nose of the aircraft tipped toward the ground, according to Martins.

There were no injuries as a result of the malfunction, Martins said in the statement, and military officials are investigating the causes of the mishap and precautionary landing.

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The aircraft is assigned to Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 121, which is part of 1st MAW, a component of the Okinawa-based III Marine Expeditionary Force.