Naha Airport closed after Air Self-Defense Force F-15 fighter gets flat tire

Naha Airport closed after Air Self-Defense Force F-15 fighter gets flat tire

At 3:16pm on March 12, civilian aircraft landed at Kadena Air Base while Naha Airport’s runway was closed after a JASDF F-15 experienced a flat tire.

March 13, 2013 Ryukyu shimpo

At around 1:07pm, on March 12, at Naha Airport, a F-5 fighter belonging to the Japan Air Self-Defense Force (JASDF) stopped on the runway after its left tire became flat during landing. According to a spokesperson for the Naha base no injuries were reported. The runway was closed for about one hour and about 2200 passengers on at least 15 flights, most of them incoming, experienced disruptions.
Some of the aircraft had to land at Kadena Air Base or at airports outside Okinawa, and some even turned back to the point of departure.

According to a spokesperson for the base, the fighter belongs to the 204th Squadron, 83rd Wing at Naha Air Base. The cause of flat tire is being investigated. The accident took place when the fighter returned to Naha base after it was scrambled to intercept an intrusion into Japanese airspace by foreign aircraft. The airport resumed its takeoffs and landings at 7:02pm after JASDF personnel had collected up all the pieces of tire off the runway.

Many incoming and outgoing flights were affected. They were mostly inbound All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines flights from the main islands of Japan, but it also disturbed flights scheduled for departure. There was a delay of around two hours.

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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