An F-15 fighter jets empty fuel tank that crashed to the ground Friday in Ishikawa Prefecture may have exploded after its internal air pressure spiked, according to officials from the Air Self-Defense Forces Komatsu base. An ASDF accident investigation panel is examining the aircraft and fallen debris, and interviewing the pilot, air traffic controller and others to find out what caused the tank and part of a mock air-to-air missile to fall from the plane shortly before it landed at the Komatsu base.
Japan has grounded its F-15 fighters for the second time in three months after a fuel tank and parts of a mock missile fell off a jet on a training mission, officials said Saturday.Japan Air Self-Defense Force officials said that the flight suspension involves all missions except emergency scrambles and will last until the safety of Japans 202 F-15 fighters has been confirmed.No one was injured in Fridays incident near Komatsu base in western Japan and the pilot landed safely. In July, Japans F-15s were grounded after one of the jets crashed into the East China Sea. Though presumed dead, the pilot of that jet is still listed as missing, and the cause of the accident has not been announced.