U.S., UK officials waiting for more data on F-35 engine mishap

RAF FAIRFORD, England, July 10 Thu Jul 10, 2014 8:57am EDT

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RAF FAIRFORD, England, July 10 (Reuters) - U.S. and UK authorities are waiting for more data about an engine fire that occurred on a U.S. Air Force F-35A fighter plane last month before allowing flights of the F-35 fleet to resume, the Pentagon's F-35 program chief said on Thursday.

Air Force Lieutenant General Christopher Bogdan said officials would allow flights to resume when it was safe to do so. He said the program remained fundamentally on track despite the incident given the margins planned in during a recent restructuring of the $398.6 billion program.

Bogdan said he was glad the incident happened on the ground, and that both the pilot and rescue crew were not injured.

He said it was also easier to deal with an issue early in the program, when there are about 150 engines in production or already delivered, as opposed to later when thousands of engines will be in use. (Reporting by Andrea Shalal; editing by Jason Neely)

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