USAF F-16 makes emergency landing at Aomori Airport, delays commercial flights

U.S. Air Force photo

A USAF F-16 fighter made an emergency landing at Aomori Airport (AOJ) north of Japan’s main island of Honshu, resulting in temporary delays for commercial flights.  

The incident occurred on the morning of July 10, 2023. The aircraft belonged to the 35th Fighter Wing of the United States Air Force, stationed at Misawa Air Base (MSJ). 

The aircraft landed as a precautionary measure due to the detection of unusual signs. No injuries were reported in connection with the emergency landing. Two commercial flights were delayed as a consequence of the closed runway. 

According to the Japanese public broadcaster NHK, the F-16 fighter took off again later in the day after undergoing inspection by US technicians. 

“As a precautionary measure one U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon from Misawa Air Base diverted to Aomori airport,” the USAF 35th Fighter Wing said in a statement to AeroTime. “The aircraft landed safely at Aomori airport and then returned to Misawa Air Base within the same day at 1802.”

On November 30, 2021, an F-16 Fighting Falcon dumped its two external fuel tanks before carrying out an emergency landing at Aomori Airport after encountering an engine issue. Consequently, the Japanese Ministry of Defense demanded the grounding of the USAF F-16 fleet in Japan until the fighter jets were deemed safe to fly.  

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