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The Marine Corps? ?No. 1 priority? for the F-35 involves a rough landing in hot environments

WASHINGTON ? It was a hot day aboard the amphibious assault ship Essex when a pilot brought his F-35B in for what is known as a ?mode four? flight operation, where the jet enters hover mode near a landing spot, slides over to the target area and then vertically lands onto the ship.

It?s a key part of the F-35B?s short-takeoff-and-vertical-landing capability, known as STOVL. And normally, everything in a ?mode four? landing goes smoothly. But on this day, when the pilot triggered the thrust to slow his descent, something went wrong.

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