‘Hard landing’ damages F-16 Fighting Falcon at US air base in Japan
Stars and Stripes August 21, 2023
TOKYO — The Air Force is investigating a hard landing by an F-16 Fighting Falcon in northeast Japan, according to a Misawa Air Base spokesman.
Photographs posted Monday by the Air Force amn/nco/snco Facebook group appear to show the damaged fighter accompanied by emergency vehicles Thursday on Misawa’s runway. The plane was tilted to its left, its wing almost touching the ground.
“It was a jet that had a hard landing,” a spokesman for Misawa’s 35th Fighter Wing, Tech. Sgt. Chris Jacobs, said by phone Monday morning. “Due to an abundance of caution, we were able to get the jet moved off the runway.”
Commercial flights at Misawa Airport, which shares the runway with the air base, were unaffected, Jacobs said.
“There were no delays or cancellations to commercial flights or operations and no injuries were sustained,” Jacobs said in an email Monday afternoon. “An investigation is being conducted to determine the cause of the ground emergency.”
The Air Force can’t release details about damage to the aircraft during an ongoing investigation of the incident, Jacobs wrote in a follow-up email.
“Additionally, due to the nature of the investigation, we do not anticipate that the findings will be releasable to the public,” he said.
The incident came two days after four of the wing’s Fighting Falcons diverted to Chitose Air Base on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido due to weather, Jacobs said.
“In an abundance of safety, maintenance occurred, and aircraft were cleared to fly,” he said. “All four aircraft have returned safely to Misawa Air Base.”