US F / A-18 pilot reading a book on a flight. Photo: Kyodo.

American pilots read books, take photos while driving fighters

Many pilots have unsafe actions such as reading books, taking selfies while operating fighters, the US military report said.

The report was published by the Pentagon on November 5, which pointed out violations of the flight safety of some US Marine Corps pilots based at Iwakuni base in Japan.

According to reports, many US Marines pilots regularly remove oxygen masks, remove both hands from the control lever to read books or brush their beards while flying. A pilot also took a selfie while on duty and posted on social networks. The US military considers these actions to be unprofessional, distracting and threatening safety.

It is also a Marines unit involved in the collision between F / A-18D fighters and KC-130J tanker offshore Kochi province on December 6, 2018, killing 6 people and one person. injured, according to the report.

US F / A-18 pilot reading a book on a flight. Image: Kyodo.

The incident occurred during night refueling training, causing both aircraft to crash into the sea. Two pilots on the F / A-18D successfully launched an escape seat, but one died in the hospital due to serious injuries. The 5-member crew member KC-130J was only found after months.

Urine tests from pilots, including the F / A-18D flight crew, tested positive for sedatives, showing they were ineligible to fly.

"Lack of professionalism is a cause of the accident, it could have been prevented if there had been an airborne collision investigation in 2016," the report reads, referring to the fighting. F / A-18 engine of this unit crashed into a tanker on April 28, 2016.

F / A-18D fighter training with 2017 KC-130J tanker aircraft. Photo: USMC.

F / A-18D fighter training with 2017 KC-130J tanker aircraft. Photo: USMC.

The US Marines ranked 2016 incidents in Group C, the second lowest in the aviation accident rating system. This classification prevented them from conducting an investigation and disclosing information about the incident.

The Japanese Defense Ministry is asking U.S. forces to provide data on the 2016 accident, as well as ensure safety in future flight operations. Many residents of Iwakuni have expressed anger at the results of the investigation, and some have called for an end to US military flights in the region.

Vu Anh (Follow Kyodo)

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