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Spatial Disorientation Likely Cause of F-35 Fighter's Crash

Spatial Disorientation Likely Cause of F-35 Fighter's Crash

   Tokyo, June 10 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Defense Ministry on Monday cited the pilot's spatial disorientation, or loss of situational awareness, as a possible cause of April's crash of an F-35A fighter into the Pacific Ocean.
   Assuming that there was no mechanical trouble in the crashed aircraft, the ministry plans to resume the flights of its F-35As that have been grounded since the accident, while stepping up pilot training and taking other preventive measures.
   The ministry used its information sharing system for F-35 fighters and ground radar data to track the locations and the altitudes of the crashed jet, which belonged to the Air Self-Defense Force's Misawa base in Aomori Prefecture, northern Japan.
   After analyzing the aircraft's flight path and speeds, the ministry judged that the pilot obviously went into a state of spatial disorientation.
   As no signs of mechanical trouble were found in records of communication with the crashed fighter and through inspections of the 12 remaining F-35As in Japan, the ministry assumed that the aircraft was operating normally before the crash.

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AFP-JIJI PRESS NEWS JOURNAL


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