An F-15 from Kadena Air Base, Japan, dropped an “eagle claw” at some point during a training flight Aug. 4, and the 18th Wing is looking into what caused the part to fall.
The part is a C-shaped metal object that is about 7 inches long and weighs 8 pounds, a spokesperson for the 18th Wing told Air Force Magazine. Eagle claws are there to hold munitions in place, though there were no munitions on the aircraft during the training flight, which took place off the coast of Okinawa.
The spokesperson told Air Force Magazine that the eagle claws on all of the wing’s F-15 at the base were inspected “immediately following the incident.” And, he added, “Our teams thoroughly inspect each and every aircraft both before and after every flight to ensure safe flying operations.”
No damage or injuries have been reported, and the part has not been found, but the Wing notified the Okinawa Defense Bureau and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs-Okinawa about the incident.
In October, a told Stars and Stripes, in reference to the eagle claw incident, “With everything going on with coronavirus, we just want them to not cause any more trouble at this moment.”