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AF Denies Airliner’s Claim of Near Miss

Date Posted: 2000-02-12

The pilot of ANK airliner en route from Fukuoka to Ishigaki, reported a near miss with what he said was an American FA-18 fighter plane that came as near as 60 meters from the airliner. The incident reportedly happened Friday, some 70 km northwest of Naha City. U.S. military officials have denied the charge and said that the only U.S. aircraft in the area never came closer than 1,000 meters from the civilian airliner.

According to the airline pilot, he had been flying at 8,500 meter when the warning buzzer went off and he noticed the American plane approaching from below. When the pilot took an evasive action, the fighter reportedly followed, coming on the side as close as 60 meters from the civilian plane. The fighter continued at the side of the airliner a couple of minutes and then disappeared.

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