April 22, 2024


One post shared on Facebook claims the world’s first female F-35 pilot crashed one of the fighter jets on her maiden flight.

Verdict: Misleading

While the woman in the photo is the US Air Force’s first female F-35 pilot, there are no credible news reports suggesting she crashed the plane on its first flight.

Data Check:

The US Air Force and other global air fleets have grounded most F-35 fighter jets because of a technical problem with the ejection seats that was first discovered in April, according to Air Force Times. About five “category 1” defects have been discovered in the latest versions of the aircraft, the EurAsian Times mentionted.

The Facebook image includes two screen grabs of purported articles about the first female F-35 pilot. The first is a 2019 article from the site We are the Strong with a headline that reads: “First female F-35 pilot proves flight is a gender equalizer.” The second shows a 2022 post from the online blog Avia.pro headlined “World’s first female F-35 fighter pilot crashes plane on maiden flight.” Both posts contain images of the same woman in a jumpsuit.

While the woman in the photos is the first female F-35 pilot, Lt. Col. Christine Maw, the claim that the plane crashed is baseless. Maui began her F-35 training in 2015 and has flown successfully, according to the Air Force Press release. “Lt. Col. Christine Mau, the deputy commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing’s Operations Group, completed her first training flight in the fifth-generation single-seat fighter after 14 mock training missions in the full-mission simulator at the F-35 Academy Training Center,” the source said. of liberation. It does not report any crashes.

The Avia.pro article appears to refer to an F-35 jet crash that occurred earlier this year on the deck of the USS Carl Vinson, injuring seven, according to CNN. Maw was not identified as the pilot.

“I was the first woman to fly the F-35 in 2015,” Maw said in a message to Check Your Fact. “I only flew the F-35A in the US Air Force. This accident occurred in January 2022 and was a US Navy F-35C. Since I retired from the Air Force in 2017 and haven’t flown the F-35 since, never been in the Navy or ever landed on an aircraft carrier, very clearly not me. The pilot in question wasn’t even a woman.”

A US Navy spokesman also told Check Your Fact that Facebook’s viral claim was “misinformation” in an email. (RELATED: DETAIL CHECK: This photo appears Fighter jets escorting an aircraft carrying military equipment to Ukraine?)

Check Your Fact has reached out to the US Air Force for comment and will update this piece accordingly if received.


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