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US military aircraft crashes off coast of Japan with eight on board

November 29, 2023
An Osprey aircraft takes off from US military port facilities in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan on March 20, 2023
An Osprey aircraft takes off from US military port facilities in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan on March 20, 2023

TOKYO — A US military Osprey aircraft crashed off the coast of Japan’s Yakushima Island in southern Kagoshima prefecture on Wednesday, with eight people on board, according to a spokesperson from the Japan Coast Guard.

The Coast Guard received information about the crash around 2:47 p.m. local time (12:47 a.m. ET), said the spokesperson, adding the 10th Regional Coast Guard Headquarters has dispatched a patrol boat and aircraft to the crash area.

One person has been found so far, located by a local fishing vessel that was helping the Coast Guard with the search, said the spokesperson who added that no information is currently available on the individual’s condition, or on whether there were any injuries among those on board.

The Yakushima Airport Management Office in Kagoshima Prefecture received a call from the US military Wednesday afternoon requesting an emergency landing at Kagoshima Airport, a Kagoshima prefectural official told CNN.

The Kagoshima prefectural official did not specify if the request came from the US Marines or Air Force.

It is the latest crash to involve an Osprey military aircraft, with numerous accidents reported over the years.

In August this year three US Marines were killed and several others seriously wounded after an Osprey crashed during military exercises in Australia.

In 2022, five US Marines died after their MV-22B Osprey plane crashed during a training mission near Glamis, California. The same year four US service members were killed when their Osprey crashed during NATO training exercises in Norway.

The Osprey is a highly flexible aircraft that is can take off vertically like a helicopter but also carry out high speed cruising of a more conventional turboprop plane with wings.

Generally, Osprey are safe to fly, but the aircraft has had a history of mechanical and operational issues, since its inception in the 1980s, according to CNN military analyst and retired US Air Force Col. Cedric Leighton. — CNN


November 29, 2023
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