A U.S. military V-22 Osprey aircraft plunged into the sea near Yakushima island, western Japan, on a Wednesday afternoon, with eight souls aboard. The incident sparked immediate action from the Japan Coast Guard, marking another chapter in the aircraft's history of controversies.
Details of the Crash
The crash occurred at approximately 2:47 p.m. local time. Eyewitness accounts suggested that the aircraft's left engine was ablaze as it plummeted towards the sea. However, details about the condition of the passengers and crew or the cause of the crash were not immediately available. The incident, which occurred near Yakushima island, adds to the growing list of Osprey mishaps in the region.
Response and Investigation
The Japan Coast Guard was quick to respond to the incident, but released minimal information in the immediate aftermath. A spokesperson for U.S. forces in the region echoed this sentiment, indicating that they were in the process of gathering data. The U.S. Military Osprey aircraft has been deployed in a variety of operations over Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and Kuwait; notably in transportation and medical evacuation capacities. However, the information about this incident remains scarce as ongoing investigations are likely working to ascertain the circumstances leading up to the crash and the state of those involved.
History of V-22 Osprey Crashes
This is not the first time the U.S. military's Osprey aircraft, known for its tilt-rotor capabilities, has been involved in a crash. In August, an Osprey plunged off the coast of northern Australia during a routine military exercise, leading to the loss of three U.S. Marines. Another crash-landed into the ocean off Japan's southern island of Okinawa in December 2016, prompting a temporary U.S. military grounding of the aircraft. With this recent event, questions are likely to be raised again concerning the aircraft's safety and reliability.