An aerobatic display took a turn for the worse after two T-4 jet planes collided midair off the Japanese coast. The three pilots escaped unharmed, a military spokesman said.
The trainers, part of the Blue Impulse, Japan’s Air Self Defense Force aerobatic display team, were practicing flying in formation when they collided 45 kilometers southeast of Matsushima Air Base in northern Japan.
One plane damaged part of its nose while the other lost a bit of its stabilizer.
The planes were able land safely at the base, a military aerodrome of the Japanese Air Force west of Ishinomaki, Miyagi Prefecture, after the incident over the Pacific Ocean.
It was the first midair collision involving the T-4, the spokesman said. The airforce said it would immediately look into the case.
The air base suffered heavy damage due to flooding during the 2011 tsunami. Eighteen F-2 fighters parked on the tarmac were swept by seawater, with one colliding nose-first into the control tower. The fighters were deemed irreparable. Hundreds of off-duty base personnel were missing in the wake of the tsunami.
By Maesie Bertumen