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JASDF incident forces Naha Airport closure

Date Posted: 2005-09-26

Thousands of commercial air passengers were rerouted away from Naha International Airport Friday after a military jet blew out a tire.

A Japan Air Self Defense Force F-4 fighter jet was landing at the Naha airport when its left under wing tire tore apart. Officials say nobody was in danger from the incident, and that there was no live ammunition aboard. The two F-4 pilots, ages 27 and 29, were from the JASDF base at Nittahara in Miyazaki Prefecture.

The blown tire forced the airport to close, sending 20 commercial flights with 5,000 passengers aboard to Miyako Airport. The airport was closed for about an hour to both military and commercial flights.

Military officials say the plane had just finished a training mission near Okinawa. After landing the plane, the F-4 pilots halted it in the middle of the runway.

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