Accident Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II 79-8705, Tuesday 9 April 2019
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Date:Tuesday 9 April 2019
Time:19:27 LT
Type:Silhouette image of generic F35 model; specific model in this crash may look slightly different    
Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II
Owner/operator:Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF)
Registration: 79-8705
MSN: AX-05
Fatalities:Fatalities: 1 / Occupants: 1
Other fatalities:0
Aircraft damage: Destroyed
Location:135 km E of Misawa Air Base (MSJ) -   Japan
Phase: En route
Departure airport:Misawa Airport (MSJ/RJSM)
Destination airport:Misawa Airport (MSJ/RJSM)
Confidence Rating: Information is only available from news, social media or unofficial sources
The F-35A went missing over sea while it was engaged in training with three other F-35A jets.
Some debris from the stealth fighter, including the tail, has been found at 21:45 LT the accident night, and were identified as parts of the accident plane next day. The ocean is 1500m deep at that point.
The aircraft had been in the air for 28 minutes when contact was lost. The pilot had 3,200 hours of flight time, with 60 hours on the F-35.
The crashed aircraft was the first of 13 Japanese F-35As assembled by Mitsubishi in Nagoya. The total flight time of the crashed F-35 was 280 hours, and two precaution landings had been performed before the accident; i.e. in June 2017 and August 2018. In addition to the 12 JASDF F-35As affected by the temporary Japanese grounding order, the 14th aircraft assembled, which is still at Nagoya and undergoing pre-delivery flight tests, has also been grounded.
As of 19 April 2019, the pilot still has not been rescued and is deemed to have died in the crash.
On 7th June, Japanese Minister of Defense announced that a part of the pilot's body had been recovered from the bottom of the ocean at the accident site.

A summary of the interim accident report has been released on 10th June, and a summary of the final report followed on 9th August. According to these reports, the cause of the accident was possibly vertigo of the pilot.
At 19:25 LT the accident night, the pilot radioed "Two kill" (shoot down two simulated enemy planes). At 19:26, the F-35A was advised by ATC to descend for avoiding USF traffic at FL370. The pilot acknowledged it, and F-35A started a left descent from FL315. Twenty seconds later, at 19:26:15, the pilot radioed "Now, knock it off" (discontinue the exercise) at FL155. The average rate of descent of this 20 seconds was 48000 ft/min or 900 km/h. The rapid descent was continued until the lost of the radar contact at 19:26:30, 1000 ft above sea level. The descent rate of the last 15 seconds was 58000 ft/min or 11000 km/h. During this descent, the voice tone of the pilot's radio communication was calm, and there were no indication of bail-out attempt.

Sources: (photo)

Revision history:

09-Apr-2019 13:56 Anon. Added
09-Apr-2019 13:59 harro Updated [Location, Phase, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
10-Apr-2019 04:56 Iceman 29 Updated [Other fatalities, Source, Damage, Narrative]
10-Apr-2019 04:57 Iceman 29 Updated [Narrative]
10-Apr-2019 05:33 marko Updated [Registration, Cn, Source]
10-Apr-2019 06:01 RobertMB Updated [Registration, Cn, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
10-Apr-2019 06:04 Aerossurance Updated [Time, Registration, Cn, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source, Narrative]
10-Apr-2019 07:58 RobertMB Updated [Registration, Cn, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport, Source]
10-Apr-2019 09:10 RobertMB Updated [Departure airport]
10-Apr-2019 11:33 Anon. Updated [Source]
10-Apr-2019 11:33 isamuel Updated [Source, Narrative]
10-Apr-2019 13:43 marko Updated [Narrative]
12-Apr-2019 12:36 isamuel Updated [Source, Narrative]
19-Apr-2019 05:50 gerard57 Updated [Total fatalities, Narrative]
26-Apr-2019 16:28 Aerossurance Updated [Source, Narrative]
10-Jun-2019 16:02 isamuel Updated [Source, Narrative]
09-Aug-2019 10:40 isamuel Updated [Source, Narrative]
27-May-2022 08:15 TB Updated [Operator, Location, Departure airport, Destination airport]

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