The U.S. Military Now Denies That Japan's Missing F-35A Has Been Found
(Source: The War Zone; posted April 30, 2019)
By Joseph Trevithick
There has been some confusion over whether or not Japanese or American authorities have found the main wreckage a Japan Air Self Defense Force F-35A Joint Strike Fighter that crashed in the Pacific Ocean earlier this month. A senior U.S. military officer had told reporters that personnel had found the plane, only to get contradicted by multiple other U.S. military spokespersons.

U.S. Air Force General Charles Brown, head of Pacific Air Forces (PACAF), told reporters that the location of the stealthy fighter jet was known during a press briefing on Apr. 30, 2019, according to Nikkei Asian Review. The F-35A crashed on Apr. 9, 2019 off the coast of Japan. The exact cause of the accident remains unknown. 41-year-old Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) Major Akinori Hosomi was at the control of the plane at the time and also remains missing.

“The aircraft’s been located,” Brown said, Nikkei reported. “It’s now in the recovery aspect.”

However, Nikkei later updated its story to add a statement from U.S. Air Force Colonel John Hutcheson, a spokesperson for U.S. Forces Japan (USFJ), who said that this was incorrect. Hutcheson did not clarify whether General Brown had simply misspoken or had himself received inaccurate information ahead of the press briefing.

“The aircraft has not been located at the bottom of the sea,” Hutcheson told Nikkei. “The U.S. military is still working with the Japan Air Self-Defense Force to locate the wreckage.”

Aircraft and ships searching for the downed aircraft and Major Hosomi did find debris from the crash, including a piece of the F-35’s tail, in the days following the mishap. There have been no reports yet that Japanese or American personnel, or anyone else, have recovered more significant portions of the plane. (end of excerpt)


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