Japan: Osprey tiltrotor (plane-helicopter) crashes
Yet another accident brings the number of victims caused by 16 accidents to 24
Dramatic fatal plane crash in Japan. A US Marine Bell Boeing CV-22B Osprey military tiltrotor crashed into the sea off the coast of Yakushima Island. The toll of the accident, according to what was reported by the Japanese coast guard, is at least one victim out of a total of eight soldiers who were on board, including pilot and crew members.
According to an initial reconstruction, the aircraft had departed from the US Marine military air base in Iwakuni, located in the extreme south of Japan, and was headed to the Kadena air base, located in the Japanese archipelago of Okinawa. According to the specialized website "Aviation Safety", at 2.35pm the Osprey pilot requested to make an emergency landing at the civil airport of Yakushima, but the runways were all busy.
A fisherman, an eyewitness to the accident, reported that the left engine was on fire and exploded in flight, breaking the blades and causing the rotor to separate from the wing. At that point the tiltrotor would have fallen into the sea, twisting on itself. The fishing vessel alerted the Japanese coast guard, which sent planes and patrol boats. At the moment, the wreckage of the Osprey floating on the sea (including the empty inflatable life raft) and the body of a victim were found. The search for the other crew members, who are missing, is still underway.
AVIONEWS - World Aeronautical Press Agency