National

ASDF base resumes aerobatics training after crash-prompted hiatus

Kyodo

Training sessions for the Air Self-Defense Force’s Blue Impulse aerobatics corps resumed Monday above the ASDF’s Matsushima base in Miyagi Prefecture, base officials said.

The sessions were halted last July following a crash between two jets in which three crew members were killed.

The officials said the Blue Impulse team resumed training over the ocean on Feb. 9, and over the Matsushima base Monday for the first time in eight months.

Participating in the session were seven pilots in four T-4 jets, the officials said.

Full training for resuming the aerobatics performances that the Blue Impulse team is known for will take several months, they said, adding that training will focus on re-honing the pilots’ maneuvering skills for the time being.

Two ASDF jets with a total of three crew members on board crashed last July en route to the Matsushima base after a training session with other jets.

The bodies of the three were later found near the wreckage of the two planes in a mountainous area in Miyagi.