Shortly after takeoff, the the stealth fighter, from the 90th Fighter Squadron in the 3rd Wing at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, skidded to a stop, damaging the front end of the aircraft, JBER spokeswoman Keisha K. Lafayette told Military.com on Tuesday.
"We can confirm that the aircraft was later hoisted into a position where the landing gear could be extended and locked," Lafayette said in an email statement. "The aircraft was then towed to a position where damage and repairs can be evaluated."
The pilot was unharmed and was able to egress the aircraft safely, Lafayette said. As first reported by The Drive, the F-22 was at Fallon to participate in the Navy's strike fighter tactics instructor program, also known as 'Topgun.'
"The cause of the incident is still under investigation and it is not known at this time whether a landing gear, engine malfunction, or any other mechanical issue were factors in the incident," Lafayette said.
Lafayette did not say whether additional Raptors remain at Fallon to continue training. A cost estimate of the damages was not provided.
According to posts on the public Facebook group Air Force Amn/nco/snco, which is popular within the Air Force but isn't officially run by the service, initial photos of the accident showed a potential engine flameout, which caused the Raptor to skid.
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"Appears to have been a left engine flameout when the pilot throttled up to take off," the post said. How the group obtained the photos was not specified.
"By the time [the pilot] realized the engine was dead, he had already been airborne for a few seconds and raised the gear. The jet [bounced] for around 1,500 feet, and then slid for about 5,000 feet," the Facebook post said.
The latest incident underscores a recent uptick in aviation mishaps across the U.S. military. The Air Force recently launched an investigation into an uptick of "Class C" mishaps to understand whether the lower-grade incidents are leading to fatal accidents.
"We've got our safety professionals digging into it, and seeing if there is a noticeable trend that we have in our Class C mishaps," Vice Chief of Staff Gen. Stephen "Seve" Wilson said on April 9 during the Future of War conference.
The service's investigation comes on the heels of an in-depth Military Times report showing that military aviation accidents have increased significantly over the last five years across all services.
Just in the month of April, there have been several more serious aviation mishaps, including a fatal Army AH-64E Apache helicopter crash in Kentucky; a fatal F-16 Thunderbirds crash in Nevada; a non-fatal AV-8B Harrier jet crash in Djibouti; a non-fatal a CH-53 Super Stallion helicopter hard landing in Djibouti; and separately, a fatal CH-53E helicopter crash in California.
-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at @oriana0214.