An Air Self-Defense Force F-35A state-of-the-art stealth fighter made an emergency landing at Hakodate Airport in the northernmost Japan prefecture of Hokkaido around 12:18 p.m. Wednesday, according to the Defense Ministry.
The ASDF is looking into details of the incident, believing that something wrong happened with the body of the fighter during a training flight. The F-35A is based at the ASDF's Misawa Air Base in Aomori Prefecture.
According to the ASDF, the F-35A left the Misawa base around 11:15 a.m. The fighter made the emergency landing after its body suffered some sort of problem while the plane was flying over the Sea of Japan, at a point some 190 kilometers west of the base, at around 11:58 a.m.
Another aircraft flying in formation with the F-35A also landed at Hakodate Airport, shortly before 1 p.m. No injuries have been confirmed among the pilots of the planes or others.
Hakodate Airport temporarily closed its runway due to the emergency landing, according to the airport office. The runway was reopened for use shortly after 12:30 p.m., but the departure of one flight was delayed for about 30 minutes.
The F-35A was moved from the runway to the airport's aircraft parking apron.
In April 2019, an F-35A from the same base crashed into the Pacific Ocean during a training flight. The Defense Ministry said in a report later that the crash occurred apparently because the pilot lost their sense of balance and that there were no problems with the aircraft.
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