The Japanese armed forces declare that the pilot's disorientation is the probable cause of the collapse of the F-35 in April


A Japanese Coast Guard ship and a US military aircraft conduct rescue and research operations at the place where an F-35A stealth fighter aircraft from the self-defense air force crashed during an April 9, 2019 offshore exercise. of the prefecture of Aomori, Japan, in this photo taken from Kyodo on 10 April 2019. Kyodo / REUTERS obligatory credit

TOKYO (Reuters) – The Japanese air force said on Monday that spatial disorientation probably prompted one of its pilots to fly its F-35 stealth fighters in the Pacific Ocean in April, hitting the water at over 1,100 km / h (683 mph).

The Lockheed Martin Corp jet disappeared from the radar screens during an exercise with three other F-35s on the ocean near northwest Japan on April 9th. The 41-year-old pilot was killed.

"It seems very likely that the pilot suffered from vertigo and was not aware of his condition," the Japan Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) said in a press release.

"The incident was the result of a human action, but does not count as a pilot error," a JASDF official said at a press conference. "There is no indication that there was a problem with the plane."

But the aviation has not yet recovered any intact data from the $ 126 million flight data recorder to support its assessment, which is largely based on the data and communications received from the ground controllers. The debris is scattered on the seabed about 1,500 meters below the point where the plane crashed.

The pilot gave no indication of being in trouble and did not try to avoid a collision despite the advanced instrumentation and a ground proximity warning system that should have warned him to get up.

The JASDF found no indication that the pilot had attempted to expel.

His plane, which was less than a year old, crashed 28 minutes after taking off from Misawa air base in Aomori prefecture.

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