EGLIN AFB — The three variants of the F-35 fighter jet have been cleared to fly again.
The 33rd Fighter Wing at Eglin Air Force Base received word from the F-35 Joint Program Office on Thursday evening that the Air Force’s F-35A and the Marines’ F-35B can resume training flights, according 33rd spokeswoman Maj. Karen Roganov.
The F-35B is scheduled to resume training flights this afternoon. The F-35A’s next scheduled flight will be Tuesday, Roganov said.
The Navy’s F-35C also has been cleared to fly.
All three variants of the military’s newest fighter were grounded Feb. 21 after a crack was discovered on the engine blade of an F-35A during a routine inspection Feb. 19 at Edwards Air Force Base in California.
It was the sixth time one or all variants of the F-35 had been grounded.
The 33rd at Eglin has 22 F-35s for the Air Force and Marines. Pilots and maintainers from both branches have been training at the base for months.
The Navy also has pilots, maintainers and support staff at Eglin. Although no F-35Cs are at the base, maintainers are training on the other variants and pilots are going through the academic program and using flight simulators.
The first F-35C took off in Fort Worth, Texas, last month. Seven of the jets are scheduled arrive at Eglin in April.