TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- On Tuesday evening, a F-35A stealth fighter jet piloted by a Japanese aviator disappeared from radar while flying over the Pacific near norther Japan during training. It was later confirmed the jet had crashed, Reuters reported.
A search mission was carried out by US and Japanese naval ships and aircrafts to find the missing pilot, a man in his 40s with more than 3,200 hours of flight experience, Japanese Ministry of Defense told reporters.
According to media reports, some parts the aircraft have been found, but the pilot remains missing.
The F-35A fighter went missing Tuesday around 7:30 p.m. during a mission with three other F-35A aircraft. The aircraft were based at Misawa air base in Japan’s Aomori Prefecture, and the jet disappeared from radar approximately 28 minutes after takeoff.
The missing military aircraft crashed approximately 85 miles east of Misawa City. It has since been reported that the aircraft was the first of the Lockheed Martin designed models to be assembled by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, according to Reuters.
Japan’s remaining fleet of 12 F-35A models have been grounded pending an investigation into the cause of the crash.
The U.S. Navy’s 7 th Fleet is assisting with the search for wreckage and the missing pilot, reports Military.com.