New Fighter Jet Training Stalls, Grounding Pilots

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) -- The best fighter pilots from
the Air Force, Marines and Navy are still waiting for training
flights on the nation's most advanced war plane.

About 35 top pilots from the three military services have been
at a base in the Florida Panhandle since last year, waiting to
start flying the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

But the training program has been delayed by a combination of
concerns about the stealth jets' safety, cost overruns and
questions about the entire program's feasibility.

The most the pilots do with the F-35s at Eglin Air Force base is
occasionally taxi them. Otherwise their training is limited to F-35
flight simulators, classroom work and flights in older-model jets.

The Air Force said this month it isn't ready to start student
flights at Eglin.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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