Osprey crashes off Japan with six onboard

The US military aircraft can fly like a fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter.

The US military aircraft can fly like a fixed-wing aircraft and a helicopter. Photo: AAP

Another US military Osprey aircraft has crashed, this time into the ocean near Japan’s Yakushima Island with six people on board.

At least one person has been confirmed dead with the condition of the others unknown.

A spokesperson for US forces in the region said they were still gathering information about the incident.

The crash happened on Wednesday afternoon, with local residents reporting the aircraft had fire blowing from its left engine as it fell into the sea, Japanese broadcaster MBC reported.

In August, a US Osprey crashed off the coast of northern Australia while transporting troops during a routine military exercise, killing three US Marines.

Another crash-landed in the ocean off Japan’s southern island of Okinawa in December 2016, prompting a temporary US military grounding of the aircraft.

The tilt-rotor plane, which can fly both like a helicopter and a fixed-wing aircraft, is operated by the US Marines, US Navy and Japan’s defence forces.

The deployment of the Osprey in Japan has been controversial, with critics saying the hybrid aircraft is prone to accidents. 

The US military and Japan say it is safe.


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