Kadena-based F-35A loses panel during training flight near Okinawa

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An Air Force F-35A Lightning II takes off at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Nov. 16, 2017. NAOTO ANAZAWA/U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO
From Stripes.com
An Air Force F-35A Lightning II takes off at Kadena Air Base, Japan, Nov. 16, 2017. NAOTO ANAZAWA/U.S. AIR FORCE PHOTO

Kadena-based F-35A loses panel during training flight near Okinawa

by: Matthew M. Burke | .
Stars and Stripes | .
published: December 05, 2017

CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — One of America’s newest and most advanced stealth fighters lost a part Thursday while flying a routine mission off the coast of Okinawa, Air Force officials said.

A panel fell off an F-35A Lightning II at approximately 10:30 a.m., about 65 miles east of the southern island prefecture, said a statement from Kadena Air Base’s 18th Wing. The 1-pound panel, which was approximately 12 inches high and 24 inches long, was “most likely lost over the ocean.”

The pilot’s wingman noticed the problem as the fighter prepared to land, the statement said. A post-flight inspection later confirmed that the part was missing.

Air Force officials declined to discuss the nature of the training being conducted during the incident.

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