• Kyodo

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The Air Self-Defense Force said Wednesday the crash of an F-15 fighter in July probably occurred after the pilot lost consciousness due to G-forces during a training flight.

Lt. Col. Yuji Kawakubo, 37, whose body has not been recovered since his aircraft crashed into the East China Sea off Okinawa on July 5, is believed to have blacked out, or suffered G-LOC — G-force-induced loss of consciousness — as he was exposed to about 5.5 to 6.9 Gs for around eight seconds, it said. A person can typically handle about 5 Gs before blacking out, and fighter pilots wear a G-suit to mitigate the forces of gravity on blood circulation.

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