Panel may have fallen from Japanese govt. plane
NHK -- Jan 12
Japan's Air Self-Defense Force, or ASDF, suspects that a metal panel may have fallen from a Japanese government aircraft during flight.

The ASDF has been operating 2 planes since 1993 for such purposes as overseas trips by the Emperor and prime minister.

The Defense Ministry says ASDF inspectors at New Chitose Airport in the northern prefecture of Hokkaido found on Thursday that the panel was not on the plane.

The Boeing 747 had just arrived from Tokyo's Haneda Airport after regular maintenance. It's based at the ASDF's Chitose facility.

The ministry says the metal panel covers a joint between the right main wing and an engine. It adds the panel measures 38 centimeters by 20 centimeters and weighs 500 grams.

The ministry says the ASDF did not find the panel during a search of runways and other places at the 2 airports. It says there have been no reports of damage or the discovery of the panel.

The ministry says Japan Airlines was commissioned to conduct the routine maintenance at Haneda, including an engine exchange. It adds workers removed the panel during the procedure and replaced it.

12日に安倍総理大臣がヨーロッパ外遊に出発する予定のなか、11日、政府専用機から部品がなくなっているのが見つかりました。 11日、羽田空港を飛び立って新千歳空港に着陸した政府専用機の右の主翼とエンジンをつなぐ部分から、パネルが1枚なくなっているのが見つかりました。
News sources: NHK, ANNnewsCH
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