JASF F-15 mishap closes Naha Airport for 45 minutes
A part of a beacon light of a Japan Air Self Defense Force F-15 fighter of the JASDF Naha Base fell off when the aircraft was taking off from Naha Airport Wednesday morning causing the closure of the runway for about 45 minutes.
The runway closure resulted in the cancellation of eight flights, three flights were directed to land on Kadena Air Base, and two flights were diverted to Miyako Airport. Transocean Airlines flights from Ishigaki to Naha and Okayama to Naha were delayed for about four hours.
According to Naha Air Base Public Affairs Office, the part which fell off was the glass cover of the beacon light attached to the nose gear of the F-15 fighter aircraft. The cover is about 20 cm in diameter and weighs 800 grams. When the aircraft took off the pilot of the aircraft behind noticed the problem and alerted the airport safety. JASDF officials are now conducting an investigation into the incident.
Nine JASDF F-15 fighter aircraft were executing training operations at the time. As the runway closed, all JASDF fighter jets were directed to the Kadena Air Base. After they were checked for safety, they returned to Naha Airport by 4:45 p.m. on the same day, except the aircraft with trouble remained parked at Kadena for further inspection.