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Washington (CNN) – This time, it was an accident.
At least that’s what Air Force officials said in an official statement on Thursday after an image depicting male genitalia appeared in the sky, this time on Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
During a training exercise on Tuesday, pilots of F-35 fighter jets inadvertently created a trail of condensed air in the shape of a penis, whose images caused a stir on social networks.
But unlike previous incidents related to the use of military aircraft to create phallic images, base officials insist that this suggestive description was an accident and the result of normal flight maneuvers when the fifth generation aircraft participated in a simulated combat.
“We have seen the photos that have been circulating online since Tuesday afternoon. The leadership of 56th Fighter Wing reviewed the flight training tapes and confirmed that the F-35s that led the standard combat training maneuvers … resulted in the creation of contrails, “a spokesperson for the base told CNN.
“There was no nefarious or inappropriate behavior during the training flight,” the spokesman added.
Fox 10 in Phoenix was the first to report the images.
The F-35 is touted as the future of military aviation, a lethal and versatile aircraft that combines stealth capabilities, supersonic speed, extreme agility and state-of-the-art sensor fusion technology, according to Lockheed Martin.
The plane, whose stealth capabilities make it difficult to detect enemy radars, has been the favorite of President Donald Trump, who has praised the F-35 several times as “invisible”.
Although the figure on Tuesday may have been an accident, it represents the first time that an F-35 has been associated with this type of incident, whether intentional or otherwise.
Similar tracings have become a trend in recent years among military pilots.
In 2017, a Navy crew was punished for purposely leaving an “obscene image” in the sky over Okanogan County, Washington.