Navy helicopter drops flashlight over Atsugi
YOKOSUKA NAVAL BASE, Japan — A flashlight fell from a U.S. Navy helicopter Thursday night over a populated area in Odawara city, the Navy reported Friday.
No damage or injuries have been reported, according to the Navy and an Odawara city spokesman.
“We’re glad no one was hurt — that was our first concern,” said Commander, Naval Forces Japan spokesman Cmdr. David Waterman.
The flashlight was lost while the H-60 helicopter from Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron 14 was flying from Camp Fuji to Naval Air Facility Atsugi, the home of Carrier Air Wing 5.
How the flashlight, a “common military design,” was dropped is under investigation, Waterman said.
The incident happened about 10 p.m. The Navy was practicing nighttime aircraft landings around Naval Air Facility Atsugi that day. Eight local officials protested the nighttime landing practice this year, citing noise and safety issues in the highly-populated Atsugi area. If the flashlight is found, Waterman said, the Navy is not requesting it be sent back.