Wednesday, 21 November, 2018

F-16's Engine Catches Fire Over Japan; No Injuries Reported

Onodera US F16 dumps fuel tanks into lake F-16's Engine Catches Fire Over Japan; No Injuries Reported
Melinda Barton | 22 February, 2018, 05:32

Koji Ebina, mayor of the Aomori Prefecture town of Tohoku, made the request during a meeting with Col. R. Scott Jobe, commander of the USA base, after the F-16 jettisoned its two external fuel tanks into Lake Ogawara in Aomori Prefecture.

Misawa City officials said Jobe told them that due to an engine fire shortly after the jet's takeoff, its pilot jettisoned heavy objects in areas where no damage was likely, as instructed in a manual.

Meanwhile, officials from the base visited Lake Ogawara, where the jet offloaded the fuel tanks in the morning.

Citing reports from the USA military, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said that a fire in the plane's engine broke out as soon as the F-16 jet took off from the Misawa Airbase in Aomori Prefecture. "We strongly urge the USA side to see that safety is ensured, the cause is investigated and measures are taken to avoid the same thing from happening again", Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said at a meeting.

Local fishermen are now seeking compensation for the fishing ban.

In a statement, the USAF confirmed two external fuel tanks had been dropped "into an unpopulated area". "So the jet needs to be lightened immediately to land", the official said, speculating that the pilot had no time to fly over the Pacific Ocean and that the decision to jettison the tanks into the lake was a result of following protocol. It is believed that the jet dropped the tanks to help guarantee a safe landing.

Japanese authorities contacted the United States military to seek an explanation.

The Misawa air base is located on the Japanese Honshu Island and hosts both United States and Japanese troops. The US aircraft did not get to a good start in 2018 either.

There have been a series of recent incidents involving the us military on the southern Japanese island of Okinawa, including parts of aircraft falling on schools. In January alone, United States helicopters made three emergency landings, although there were no injuries.

In December this past year, a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter window fell onto the grounds of an Okinawan elementary school where children were playing.