An F-22 Raptor crashed at an Air Force base in Florida Thursday afternoon, adding another black mark to the already scrutinized high-tech fighter jet.
The pilot managed to eject from the aircraft, considered the most technologically advanced the Air Force has ever produced, before it crashed roughly a quarter mile east of the drone runway at Tyndall Air Force Base outside Panama City, Fla., according to a base release. All F-22 training takes place at the base, home of the 325th Fighter Wing.
U.S. Air Force Col. David Graff, commander of the wing, told reporters the pilot had a problem roughly 5 miles south of the base, and crashed while returning to Tyndall, reports The News Herald of Panama City.
"It was a flight mishap," Graff says. "The pilot safely ejected and is undergoing medical evaluation."
"We are still evaluating for injuries but he looks to be doing well," he says.
The Air Force will convene a safety board with senior officers and other Air Force officials to determine what caused the crash, Graff says. After evaluating the data, the board will determine if there are any further concerns to flying the F-22 or any other aircraft.
Calls to Tyndall were not returned in time for this report. It is unclear if jet fuel or other chemicals spilled from the crash, or if any other F-22s have been grounded.
Graff said they were forced to close U.S. Route 98 for "a while to allow first responders to get there and provide safety on the scene."
The F-22 program was grounded in recent years due to problems with oxygen flow to pilots, some of whom complained of hypoxia, an oxygen-related condition.
The Department of Defense lifted flight restrictions this summer, after determining the problem came from valve and hose problems in the pilots' flight vests.
An Air Force official tells ABC News Thursday's crash was likely not due to "life support system issues."
"Initial indications are, from talking to the pilot and from analyzing initial evidence… [that] it doesn't look like it was related to any physiological problems," the official told ABC.
- Pelosi Says Reporter Question About Age 'Offensive'
- Secession Buzz Fueled By Bad National Mood?
- Ron Paul Rips Government in Last House Speech
Paul D. Shinkman is a national security reporter for U.S. News & World Report. You can follow him on Twitter or reach him at email@example.com.