Japanese officials have reported that the most likely cause of a deadly F-35 crash was due to the pilot losing "spatial awareness" during the April 9 exercise over the Pacific Ocean, reports the BBC. The jet went lost contact 28 minutes after taking off while flying 84 miles east of Misawa in northeastern Japan, hitting the water at a speed of 683mph according to officials.
The remains of the 41-year-old pilot have been recovered along with some debris from the F-35A, while Japan's Air Self Defense Force (JASDF) say that it will resume flights of the costly jet after pilots receive additional training.
"It seems highly likely that the pilot was suffering from vertigo and was unaware of his condition," said the JASDF in a press release, adding that it was unlikely that the crash was due to "technical problems with the aircraft."
There was also no indication that the pilot - who had around 60 hours of training on the plane - attempted to eject.
According to Japan's Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya, spacial awareness could "affect any pilot regardless of their experience," adding that vertigo training for pilots would be increased.