ACCOUNT

US Military Aircraft with 6 On Board Goes Down in Asia

US Military Aircraft with 6 On Board Goes Down in Asia

A military aviation accident near Japan has ended in tragedy.

A U.S. Air Force V-22 Osprey crashed near Yakushima Island in southern Japan Wednesday.

Initial reports said there were eight people on board the aircraft, but the Japanese Coast Guard later revised its statement to say there were six, The Washington Post reported.

The Coast Guard confirmed that at least one of the crew members of the aircraft died in the incident, according to The New York Times.

 

The casualty in the incident was recovered in the ocean “unconscious and not breathing,” according to Japanese authorities.

The unidentified individual in question was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.

There was no news available on the status of the remaining crew members, NBC News reported.

Japanese Vice Defense Minister Hiroyuki Miyazawa revealed his American colleagues had described the incident in at least partial detail in a Wednesday statement, according to NBC.

“The U.S. side explained to us that the pilot did his best until the very end, so we’re using the term ‘emergency water landing.’”

Japanese first responders moved to the scene around 2:45 p.m. after a member of the public called emergency services after witnessing the incident, the Post reported.

“The aircraft’s left engine appeared to be on fire as it descended into the sea, reported NHK, Japan’s main broadcaster, which also said that fishermen recovered at least three bodies from the sea,” according to the report.

The ‘tilt-rotor’ aircraft is capable of flying in the fashion of both a helicopter or a fixed-wing aircraft.

The safety track record of the Osprey has come into question before.

As of January, 51 American service members had died in accidents involving the aircraft since the beginning of its flight history in 1989, according to Task & Purpose.

Five Marines on board a V-22 Osprey died in a crash in southern California last year, according to Military Times.

The Pentagon has shied away from buying new models of the aircraft — a development that could see the military hasten a replacement for variants of the UH-60 Black Hawk, according to Military.com.


 

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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