Ministry of Defense confirms plan to resume flights of the U.S. military accident aircraft

Ministry of Defense confirms plan to resume flights of the U.S. military accident aircraft

On October 18, a CH53E heavy-lift transport helicopter recommences flights and flies over Takae, Higashi Village.


October 17, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo


On October 26, the Ministry of Defense confirmed it will resume U.S. military aircraft flights and presented an opinion on the recent accident involving a U.S. military helicopter making a crash landing and catching fire in Takae, Higashi Village.

The Ministry of Defense provided the following comment regarding the cause of the accident; “The U.S. military seems to have taken certain measures to ensure the safety of the pilots.

” On the same day, the Ministry of Defense provided a summary of the accident and explanation of the initial investigation received from the U.S. military.

As residents remain concerned, criticism of the government for approving the response of the U.S. military is likely to increase.


While the reasons for the fire that caused the forced landing remain unknown, the U.S. military said, “We could not find materials in the initial survey that would determine a fire caused by a structural defect of the airframe.

” They described the accident as a “unique” case.


The U.S. military survey concluded after comprehensively taking into consideration opinions of experts such as the First Marine Air Defense Corps, the U.S. Navy Safety Center and the Sikorsky manufacturing company.

The military suspended flights of the same aircraft for 12 to 17 days and conducted inspections of the same type of aircraft deployed in the prefecture.

They also conducted re-training on safe flight for crew members and maintenance personnel.


The Japanese self-defense officials questioned the U.S. military about the aircraft until the 20th and the Ministry of Defense evaluated the response by the U.S. military.


The Ministry of Defense concluded, “It was completely controlled”, after listening to the US military’s report on the damage to the propeller.

The inspection report stated, “there are no problems with any aircrafts other than the aircraft involved in the accident.

” The Ministry resumed flights after it was satisfied the military would take measures to prevent a recurrence.


(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)


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