According to the officials of the Japanese Coast Guard, a crew member rescued from the sea on Wednesday following the crash of an American military aircraft Osprey, which carried six people and went down off southern Japan has died.
Spokesman for the coast guard Kazuo Ogawa mentioned that it was yet unknown what had led to the crash as well as the status of the remaining five passengers on board. However, the US military later revised his down to six, he said initially reports that this plane contained about eight individuals.Z
He said that the coast guard got an emergency call from a fishing boat close to Yakushima where this islet lies in the southern end of Kyushu (the main island west of Japan).
One person was located by coast guard aircraft and patrol boats, but died shortly after being treated at a local hospital, while various gray-coloured pieces of debris were observed with suspicion to have come from the aircraft according to Mr. Ogawa. These ships were detected at approximately one km east from yakushima. Another item found was an empty inflatable life raft.
As quoted by chief Cabinet secretary, Hirokazu Matsuno, “the government will ascertain details regarding the damages and shall accord its main focus on saving lives”.
This is an example of a hybrid aircraft, which combines two functions in one model; it takes off and lands like a helicopter while flying and rotates its props forward to cruise faster than an airplane. The US Marines, Navy, and Air Force all fly their own version of the aircraft.
Ogawa said that the craft took off from U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni prefecture, and crash landed en route to Kadena Air Base in Okinawa prefecture.He stated that it originated from the USMCs MCAS Iwakuni of Yamaguchi prefecture and went down while en-route to Okinawa’s Kadena Air Base.
According to Japan’s Vice Defense Minister, Hiroshi Mikuwasa (Hiroyuki Miyzawa) the Ospreys tried to emergency land to sea.
However, Kyodo News cited Kagoshima Prefecture officials who witnessed fire erupting from the aircrafts’ left engine.
“A statement issued by Japanese Government claimed that due to security reasons, scheduled OSPREY flights from one of the Japanese military basin in Saga, southern part of Japan was shifted”, they were meant for Thursday.3
They claimed that the plane’s registered owner was an American base called Yokota Air Base located in western Tokyo. US Air Force spokespersons at Yokota refused to comment, as it is not confirmed yet.
The osprey has had a few accidents before, for example, in Japan where they operate at U.S. and Japanese military bases. On Wednesday, governor Denny Tamaki of Okinawa has told reporters that he will request for suspends of all the Osprey flights in Japan.
The Osprey is an American rotary-wing aircraft that has sparked controversies in Okinawa, one of these controversies being the crash of a USMC Osprey into the sea on the 14th day of December 2016.
In August, a USMC Osprey with twenty three Marines onboard crashed on a north Australian island which resulted into a loss of at least three lives while several others were seriously injured during a multi-national training exercise.
In 2012 so far, this was the fifth fatal marine osprey accident, resulting in the loss of lives not less than nineteen.Since 2012 there have been five fatal crashes of a Marine Osprey, causing the loss of life of at least nineteen people.