Japan’s SDF delivers official verdict in April 9 F-35 crash

Japanese Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya announced that vertigo and/or spatial disorientation was behind a recent F-35 crash.

The crash occurred off the northwest coast of Japan on April 9. The nature of the accident – the plane slammed into the sea at over 1,100 kph and the pilot ignored several in-flight warnings to pull up – has fueled speculation that the pilot was unconscious at the moment of impact.

As per Geopoliticalmonitor.com’s situation report at the time, the jet’s onboard oxygen system was initially singled out as a likely culprit: the F-35 shares the same system as the F-22, which has had a well-documented string of incidents, some of which resulted in the grounding of fleets.