US Marines take two days to reveal an aircraft part fell from Osprey

June 21, 2014 Ryukyu Shimpo

On June 20, the Okinawa Defense Bureau revealed that a part of an MV-22 Osprey aircraft belonging to the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma had fallen. It is speculated that the accident occurred between the afternoon and night on June 17. The Okinawa Defense Bureau received a report from U.S. forces in Japan through the Ministry of Defense on June 19 two days after the accident. On the same day, the defense bureau reported the accident to the Okinawa Prefectural Government and Ginowan City Office. However, information on the location of the missing part has not yet been provided by US Marine Corps.

The U.S. Marine Corps emphasized that there was no damage. According to the U.S. Marine Corps, a pen-sized part fell from the airplane on the sea during routine flight training, and no injury has been reported. The U.S. Marines did not reply to a question from Ryukyu Shimpo regarding why they delayed reporting it for two days to the Japanese side. On June 20, the Okinawa Prefectural Government and Ginowan City Office asked the U.S. military to ensure they would take steps to prevent a recurrence and be more thorough in safety management. In February 2013, a full bottle of water fell from an Osprey aircraft belonging to the Futenma base during a flight near the base. It is the first time that a part has fallen from an Osprey aircraft.

In 1997, the governments of Japan and the United States agreed that the U.S. military has to report accidents, including objects fallen from U.S. aircraft, to the Japanese side as soon as possible, regardless of whether incidents took place inside or outside the base. According to the defense bureau, the fallen part is a 15 centimeter, stick-shaped piece of equipment, which is attached to the vertical stabilizer at the rear part of the aircraft. This is mounted on the body in order to discharge static electricity. During a routine maintenance check after the airplane returned to the base at around 11:00 p.m. on June 17 it was found that the part had been lost. The airplane took off from the Futenma base at 5:00 p.m. and flew over the sea near the main Island.

The U.S. Marine Corps has not yet disclosed the flight route of the airplane, or the location where the Osprey lost the rod-shaped static discharger. However, Marine officials say they take the safety of local residents seriously.

(English translation by T&CT)

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