Crashed F-35 Stealth Jet, Pilot Undiscovered One Month On
Tokyo, May 8 (Jiji Press)--The pilot and airframe of the crashed Japanese F-35A stealth fighter remain undiscovered one month after its accident off the Pacific coast of Aomori Prefecture, northeastern Japan.
The Self-Defense Forces are continuing search efforts, with cooperation from the seabed research vessel Kaimei of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology and a U.S. military-chartered deep-sea operation support ship.
Some flight data recorder parts have been recovered from the ocean floor, but not the core memory part containing altitude, speed and other data.
Identifying the cause of the April 9 crash and taking measures to prevent similar accidents are necessary before F-35A flights are resumed. But it is not known whether the crash can be attributed to pilot error or structural defects.
The crashed jet was the first F-35A aircraft assembled in Japan. Since Japan has not been granted full access to classified information on the plane's technology, however, cooperation from the U.S. military and the aircraft's manufacturer, Lockheed Martin Corp., is essential to investigate the case.
[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]