TOKYO: The sudden crash of a Japanese F-35 stealth fighter into the Pacific Ocean in April this year challenged the investigative agency to probe its cause. Was it due to the “spatial disorientation” of its pilot? Yes, it was confirms the country’s defense minister on Monday.
The Japan Air Self-Defense Force jet is among the world’s most sophisticated aircraft. It disappeared from radar while on a training mission with three other F-35s off northern Japan on April 9. There was no indication of any problems with the aircraft before contact was lost according to the reporting of the jet’s pilot, Maj. Akinori Hosomi who flew the stealth fighter straight into the ocean during the night training mission.
What is spatial disorientation? Spatial disorientation is defined as “a situation in which a pilot cannot sense correctly the position, attitude, altitude, or the motion of an airplane.”