Wreckage Confirmed to Be from Crashed Japanese F-35 Fighter (excerpt)
(Source: Reuters; published April 10, 2019)
By Tim Kelly
This aircraft, s/n 79 – 8705, is the one that crashed off Japan’s north-western coast Tuesday night, only the second F-35 to crash since first flight in 2006. The pilot is still missing, and Japan’s remaining 12 F-35s have been grounded. (JASDF photo)
TOKYO --- Search and rescue teams found wreckage belonging to a Japanese Lockheed Martin F-35 stealth fighter that disappeared on Tuesday over the Pacific Ocean close to northern Japan, a military spokesman said on Wednesday.

“We recovered the wreckage and determined it was from the F-35,” a spokesman for the Air Self Defense Force (ASDF) said, adding that the pilot of the aircraft was still missing.

The advanced, single-seat jet was flying about 135 km (84 miles) east of the Misawa air base in Aomori Prefecture at about 7:27 p.m. (1027 GMT) on Tuesday, when it disappeared from radar, the Air Self Defense Force said.

The aircraft was less than a year old and was delivered to the ASDF in May last year, the spokesman said. (end of excerpt)

Click here for the full story, on the Reuters website.

Additional information has been reported by various news outlets about the missing aircraft. Here is our compilation of the salient points:

-- the missing F-35 was one of four that took off from Misawa Air Base in northern Honshu island for a training mission. It disappeared from radars about 30 minutes after taking off, just after it messaged “aborting practice" to its the formation leader.

-- Japan's defense minister said the 12 remaining Lockheed F-35 jets have been grounded.

-- The crashed aircraft (s/n 79 – 8705) was the fifth F-35 delivered to the ASDF, but the first assembled by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries in Japan.

-- The previous four aircraft had been used for training in the United States before being brought to Japan.

-- The aircraft had been in the air for 28 minutes when contact was lost, the official said. The pilot had 3,200 hours of flight time, with 60 hours on the F-35.)


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