US Osprey Crashes in the Pacific

( – A V-22 Osprey belonging to the U.S. Air Force crashed in Japan recently killing one person and prompting the Japanese government to request that the USAF temporarily stop Osprey aircraft from flying over its territory.

A total of eight people were reportedly onboard when the Osprey crashed, and a search and rescue mission for the remaining crew is still underway. Osprey flights ā€“ apart from those being used for the search and rescue mission ā€“ will be halted until safety checks of remaining aircraft are done and more details about the crash emerge.

The crash occurred during a routine training mission, according to U.S. officials. The aircraft was reportedly flying to the U.S. base in Kadena, Okinawa, from the Iwakuni US base in Japanā€™s Yamaguchi region. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined and is still under investigation. However, Japanese local media reported that eyewitnesses saw the aircraft going down towards the area of Yakushima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture. One of its engines was reportedly on fire, witnesses said.

Japanese news outlet NHK said that three people had been found at the crash site. Five have allegedly been killed in the accident.

Ospreys are a brainchild of U.S. aviation technology, which allows it to lift off the ground and land like a helicopter, but its rotors can rotate, allowing it to fly faster, similar to an airplane. The aircraft has a shaky safety history, figuring in several crashes in recent years. Just earlier in the year, three U.S. marines were killed when one crashed off the coast of Northern Australia. Last year, another crash in Norway killed four U.S. Marines. The Associated Press reported that Ospreys have been in fatal crashes five times since 2012, causing the deaths of at least 19 people. Aside from the USAF, the Osprey is used by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marines, and the Japan Self Defense Forces (JSDF).

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