WASHINGTON Feb 13 The Pentagon and the U.S.
Navy have lifted flight restrictions on the Marine Corps version
of the F-35 fighter jet, clearing the way for testing and
training flights to resume after a nearly month-long grounding,
according to Colonel Kevin Killea, who oversees aviation
requirements for the Marine Corps.
Killea said the decision would allow officials to resume
flight tests of the F-35B, the Marines' version of the new
warplane being built by Lockheed Martin Corp, but the
Navy and the F-35 program office had more work ahead on
resolving the manufacturing issues blamed for the grounding.
The Pentagon and Navy grounded all 25 F-35B jets on Jan. 18
after a fuel line made by Stratoflex, a unit of Parker Hannifin
Corp, detached just before a training flight in Florida
on Jan. 16. It later said the issue stemmed from a manufacturing
defect, not maintenance or design issues.