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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — A UH-1N Huey helicopter assigned to the 459th Airlift Squadron made a “precautionary” landing at the Rinko Park Public Heliport in Yokohama on Thursday morning for a safety inspection of a major engine component, 374th Airlift Wing officials said.

A four-member aircrew, on its way back to Yokota from Izu Oshima, set the helicopter down at 9:57 a.m. in Yokohama’s Minato Mirai district, according to Yoshio Tateishi of the city’s Japan Defense Facilities Administration Bureau office. He said no one was injured.

Whether the crew was on a training mission or regularly scheduled flight was unclear, Tateishi added. For at least part of Thursday, he said, they remained at the heliport, to which another helicopter from Yokota was being dispatched with crew to repair the UH-1N’s engine.

A Kanagawa Prefectural Police spokesman said the four crewmembers made an emergency landing. Neither crewmembers nor civilians were hurt and the helicopter was undamaged, the spokesman said.

1st Lt. Warren Comer, a Yokota spokesman, said he couldn’t confirm the number of crewmembers involved in the incident or whether they were being transported back to the base but did say no injuries occurred and the aircraft was not damaged during the landing.

“The aircrew performed the precautionary landing to conduct a safety inspection of the main engine gearbox,” stated a 374th Airlift Wing news release. “To ensure the aircraft is safe to fly, it will remain at the heliport until the safety inspection is completed.”

Yokohama City municipal government officials got word of the incident shortly after 10 a.m.

“We received a report from Defense Facilities Administration Yokohama Bureau shortly after the helicopter made an emergency landing,” a city spokesman said. “We were informed that it was 9:57 a.m. that the helicopter landed on a helipad located on the Naibo Berth in Minato Mirai district in the city, after experiencing engine trouble.”

The helipad is used by a commercial aviation company, he added, but usually few people are around it.

A representative of Yokohama City’s Property Management Office said the helipad is about 80 feet from the public park and both are divided by a road that hasn’t opened yet.

“There is a fence between the park and the road and also the helipad is enclosed with a fence,” the official said. “Therefore, the helipad is not the place where general public have an access.”

— Chiyomi Sumida and Hiroshi Chida contributed to this report.


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