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Flames to the engine: US F-16 airplane unhooks external tanks

In the lake of Ogawara, Japan. Diplomatic "clutch"? -VIDEO

The Fighting Falcon based on the 35th Fighter Wing, Misawa Air Base

"An F-16CJ Fighting Falcon airplane assigned to the 35th Fighter Wing at the Misawa Air Base, Aomori Prefecture, Japan, suffered an emergency flight in the form of an engine fire shortly after takeoff at 8:40am, local time, 20 February 2018", the US Air Force informed yesterday in a statement.

"The fire forced pilot to unfasten two external fuel tanks on a deserted area near Lake Ogawara", the note continues. The aircraft is therefore safely landed on the runway of the base from which it had taken off. The pilot is unharmed and no wounded on the ground, the USAF informs.

"The safety of our aviators and our Japanese neighbors is our number one priority during flight operations", said Colonel R. Scott Jobe of the 35th Fighter Wing. "We will carry out an in depth investigation to determine the cause of this occurrence".

So according to the official note by the US Air Force the tanks would have been dropped on a desert area. But it would not be so, according to the Japanese authorities supported by various evidences. Officials from the Tokyo Ministry of Defense in fact arrived at the site confirm that parts of the two tanks as well as spots of fuel float on the surface of Lake Ogawara, congested by fishing boats. Authorities plan to officially ask the manager of the air base that there are no more similar incidents that could represent a risk to civilians on the ground.

The F-16 Fighting Falcon is a multirole, single-engine combat aircraft, originally developed by General Dynamics for the US Air Force. Designed as a light fighter, it later evolved into a multirole airplane. It has been selected by the air forces of 25 Nations; it is the largest western project of combat plane with over 4400 units produced since the beginning of its production in 1976. Even if it is no longer purchased by USAF, the most recent versions are produced for the foreign market.

Below, the video shows the flight of the plane with the engine on fire, the discovery of a "piece" of tank in the waters of the lake; the witness of a fisherman:

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