Spatial Disorientation Cited as Possible Cause of F-15 Crash in Japan

Society

Tokyo, June 2 (Jiji Press)--Japan's Air Self-Defense Force said Thursday that spatial disorientation likely caused the crash of an ASDF fighter jet in January that left two pilots onboard dead.

The F-15 fighter crashed into the Sea of Japan on Jan. 31 shortly after taking off from the ASDF Komatsu Air Base in the central prefecture of Ishikawa.

The crash killed then Col. Koji Tanaka, 52, who was posthumously promoted to major general, and then Capt. Ryusei Ueta, 33, given the rank of major after his death.

Spatial disorientation is a condition in which pilots become unable to determine the direction and position of their aircraft while in the air.

The ASDF assumes that this condition also caused the crash in 2019 of an F-35A stealth fighter jet stationed at the ASDF Misawa Air Base in the northeastern prefecture of Aomori that killed the pilot aboard.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press