Two fighter pilots can be seen making a desperate scramble to escape a burning jet as flames rage around them.
Astonishing footage shows one airman jumping from a wing, before going back into the danger zone to make sure his co-pilot also got out.
The accident happened at the Hyakuri air base near Tokyo, Japan as the 1500mph F-4 Phantom was taxiing for take-off.
The aircraft, part of Japan's Air Self-Defence Force, caught fire as its undercarriage collapsed forcing the crew to open the cockpit.
Firefighters raced to the scene and spent 20 minutes fighting the blaze as thick black smoke billowed into the sky.
What looks like a missile mounted under the wing can be seen in footage covered in foam after the fire was extinguished.
The military base shares the airfield with Ibaraki Airport although no commercial flights were impacted by the fire.
The military authorities are said to be stepping up their air defence patrols in light of the worsening diplomatic situation with North Korea and the threat of missile attack.
The McDonnell-Douglas F-4EJ "Kai" Phantom II was due to take part in a training exercise in the north-eastern part of Kanto, on Japan's main island of Honshu.
The aircraft, built under license and serviced by Mitsubishi, is a multi-role plane capable of tactical reconnaissance as well as attack roles.
The Japanese Air Self-Defence Force once operated 138 F-4 Phantom IIs as one of the largest international users of the prolific multi-role combat aircraft.
The first Japanese F-4's joined the 301st Hikotai Squadron in August of 1972 and have been operational ever since.
All similar jets in the Japan Air Self-Defense Force fleet will now be checked to ensure they are safe.
Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said: "It is a serious problem regarding flight safety."
He also added that he was not aware of any similar accidents having taken place in recent times.
The aging fighter jets are due to be replaced with new Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning IIs.