TOKYO --- Japan’s air force on Monday said spatial disorientation likely caused one of its pilots to fly his F-35 stealth fighters into the Pacific Ocean in April, hitting the water at more than 1,100 kph (683 mph).
The Lockheed Martin Corp jet disappeared from radar screens during an exercise with three other F-35s over the ocean near northwest Japan on April 9. The 41-year-old pilot was killed.
“It seems highly likely that the pilot was suffering from vertigo and was unaware of his condition,” the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) said in a press release.
“The crash was the result of human action, but it doesn’t count as pilot error,” a JASDF official said at a press briefing. “There is no indication that there was a problem with the aircraft.” (end of excerpt)
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(EDITOR’S NOTE: So the pilot of what is claimed to be the most advanced combat aircraft in the world crashes into the sea because of “spatial disorientation,” but it “doesn’t count as pilot error” and there also was “no problem with the aircraft.”
Yet it crashed, killing its pilot, Maj. Akinori Hosomi, 41.
It is now for the manufacturer to explain how an aircraft claimed to have the world’s most advanced situation awareness capabilities could disorient its pilot – a veteran pilot of jet fighters, with over 3,200 flight hours, about 60 of them on the F-35 – to the point of diving into the water at “683 mph.”
The JASDF doesn’t explain how it determined the impact speed since the flight data recorder it recovered “was heavily damaged and the storage medium was missing.”.)