US F-16s cleared for flying after crash off Japan


TOKYO — Dozens of U.S. F-16 fighters in northern Japan have been cleared to fly again after a crash into the Pacific on Sunday.

Base officials said Friday the jets with the 35th Fighter Wing at Misawa Air Base were grounded for five days of safety checks following the crash Sunday. The pilot ejected and was in the water for six hours before he was rescued.

The crash was the first of an F-16 out of Misawa since 2002 and is under investigation. Base officials say the pilot, whose name has not been released, is in stable condition.

The United States has about 50,000 troops in Japan and operates several major air bases under a mutual security pact. There are about 45 F-16s in the 35th Fighter Wing.