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Originally published Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 7:38 PM

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Pentagon ends grounding of F-35 fighters

The Pentagon says it has lifted an order that briefly grounded its fleet of F-35 fighter jets.

The Associated Press

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WASHINGTON —

The Pentagon says it has lifted an order that briefly grounded its fleet of F-35 fighter jets.

The jets were grounded on Feb. 21 after the discovery of a small crack in the turbine blade of an engine in one F-35 at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif.

On Thursday evening the Pentagon said all 51 planes had been cleared to resume flight operations.

It said prolonged exposure to high levels of heat and other unspecific "stressors" were determined to be the cause of the crack. No additional cracks were found.

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