Marine Corps Aircraft Crashes Off The Japanese Coast

REUTERS/Timothy Kelly

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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A United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey went down in Japan Tuesday.

The tiltrotor aircraft, which has the ability to function as a helicopter or a propeller-driven, fixed-wing aircraft, crashed in shallow water six miles off the coast of Okinawa at around 10 p.m. (local time), reports the Mainichi.

Two HH-60G Pave Hawk helicopters from the 33rd Rescue Squadron were dispatched from Kadena Air Base for search and rescue. Japan also deployed its Self-Defense Force (SDF) to assist.

All five crew members on board were rescued. Only two crew members were injured in the crash, defense officials revealed.

The injured marines are being treated at a hospital Camp Foster.

The downed aircraft, part of the Marine Aircraft Group 36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, reportedly took off from Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.

The Marine Corps is investigating the crash.

There are an estimated 24 MV-22 Ospreys at the air station. The aircraft has vertical take-off and landing (VTOL), as well as short take-off and landing (STOL), capabilities, and it can carry up to 24 combat marines.

There are many safety concerns surrounding the MV-22, since there were several fatal crashes during testing and development.

A number of U.S. aircraft have crashed in Japan in recent years. The latest crash occurred Wednesday Dec. 7 and involved an F/A-18 Hornet.

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