An engine of a US F-16 military aircraft from the US Misawa air base in northern Japan caught fire, with pilot dumping the aircraft’s fuel tanks into the lake, local media reported Tuesday, citing Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera.
After dumping the fuel tanks into the lake of Ogawara, the jet returned to the base, the Kyodo news agency reported, providing no information on possible victims.
Fishermen said the tanks fell 400 meters (0.2 miles) from one of the fishing vessels on the lake, according to the agency.
Japan-based USAF F-16 military aircraft forced to dump drop tanks into a lake well-known for smelt fishing in Aomori prefecture due to engine fire on seize-off. Pilot returns to Misawa airbase safely, no fishermen hurthttps://t.co/MfFoNh8QoM
— Thoton Akimoto (@Thoton) 20 февраля 2018 г.
The Misawa air base is located on the Japanese Honshu Island and hosts both US and Japanese troops. Misawa is also reportedly one of a few foreign airfields where the Americans station their advanced fifth-generation F-22 Raptor fighters on a rotational basis
Previous year, Pentagon started to relocate its fifth-generation F-35 fighters to the Iwakuni military base in southwestern Japanese prefecture of Yamaguchi. Washington planned to deploy sixteen F-35 jets in Japan, replacing F/A-18 and AV-8 Harrier aircraft.