Three Air Force fighter jets stationed in Japan conducted unexpected landings in two separate incidents earlier this week.
In an email, Pacific Air Forces spokeswoman Capt. Victoria Hight confirmed that an F-16D Fighting Falcon from Misawa Air Base was forced to land at a regional airport due to a mechanical issue on Monday, and that two F-15 Eagles returning to Kadena Air Base on Tuesday landed there using arresting cables after experiencing mechanical issues.
The Misawa F-16 diverted to Aomori Airport, which is about 48 miles from Misawa, at about 1 p.m. local time Monday, Hight said. After the Falcon landed, Hight said it was found to be leaking oil. A maintenance team has responded to fix it, she said.
The pair of F-15s that landed at Kadena the following day had different mechanical problems. One had an unsafe gear indication, Hight said, and the other had a hydraulic issue.
“Our airmen are well-trained to execute their missions under any conditions, and they handled this particular incident in a professional, safe manner,” Hight said.
According to a web translation of the Okinawa Times article, the F-15s at Kadena landed on opposite ends of the same runway, and prompted the temporary closure of the runway.
Hight said that all three pilots followed proper procedures, and landed their planes without incident.
Stephen Losey covers leadership and personnel issues as the senior reporter for Air Force Times. He comes from an Air Force family, and his investigative reports have won awards from the Society of Professional Journalists. He has traveled to the Middle East to cover Air Force operations against the Islamic State.