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Marine Corps Osprey makes emergency landing at Japanese airport

An Okinawa-based MV-22 Osprey takes part in Northern Viper drills in Hokkaido, Japan, Aug. 18, 2017.

ALLEN ONSTOTT/STARS AND STRIPES

By SETH ROBSON | STARS AND STRIPES Published: August 31, 2017

YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey made an emergency landing at a Japanese commercial airport Tuesday, a Marine Corps spokesman said.

The tilt-rotor aircraft made the “precautionary emergency landing” at Oita Airfield in Kyushu Prefecture at around 6.45 p.m., Marine 1st Lt. Joseph Butterfield said Thursday.

“There were no injuries or property damage,” he said. “There are Marines (from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing) out there now inspecting it and they are going to do follow-on maintenance.”

Japanese broadcaster NHK reported that the Osprey was flying between Yamaguchi Prefecture and Okinawa. White smoke was seen rising from the aircraft on Monday, the broadcaster reported.

“Safety is a priority in all aviation training,” and the aircrew that flew the aircraft to Oita displayed safe, professional airmanship, the Marines said in a statement.

Ospreys and CH-53E Sea Stallion helicopters had been training on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido during Exercise Northern Viper, the statement said.

The Marines decided to move forward with a plan to involve Ospreys in the recent drills despite requests from Japanese officials to ground the controversial helicopter-plane hybrid in the wake of an Aug. 5 crash off Australia’s eastern coast that killed three Marines.

robson.seth@stripes.com
Twitter: @SethRobson1

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