In video from North Texas, a pilot safely ejects from a military jet after a failed landing.
The F-35B spun sharply after its wheels briefly touched the shared runway at the Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth.
Video taken by someone watching the plane showed a slow, straight descent with smoke billowing from the rear of the plane before its nose sank into the runway and the jet stopped spinning.
The F-35B has been specially modified to take off and land vertically like a helicopter.
At the Pentagon, a spokesman said the plane was being flown by a U.S. government pilot when it crashed, although manufacturer Lockheed Martin has not yet handed it over to the military.
Pentagon spokesman Air Force Gen. Pat Ride said the pilot ejected safely.
The condition of the pilot is unclear.
Local police helped disperse the growing crowd who stopped or walked across the road after the crash.
“You never want to get a call about a plane crashing,” said White Settlement Police Chief Chris Cook.
“In our community, we love the military very much. White Settlement is a military community.”
A spokesman for Lockheed Martin, which makes the plane, said in a statement that they were aware of the crash and believed the pilot was safe.
“Safety is our top priority and we will follow appropriate investigative protocols,” it added.
The failed landing occurred more than a month later Two historic military planes collide Six people were killed at an airshow at Dallas Executive Airport 40 miles (64 km) away.
A report by the National Transportation Safety Board said the altitude was not coordinated before the flight or during the briefing the plane was in the air.