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Rescue operations underway after US Osprey crash off Japan

A CV-22B Osprey assigned to the 7th Special Operations Squadron performs an aerial display of its capabilities during the Royal International Air Tattoo at Royal Air Force Fairford, England, July 19, 2015. Photo: US Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Chrissy Best.

Search and rescue operations are currently being conducted after a United States Air Force CV-22B Osprey crashed in the waters off Japan.

Search and rescue operations are currently being conducted after a United States Air Force CV-22B Osprey crashed in the waters off Japan.

The American tiltrotor military aircraft, assigned to the 353rd Special Operations Wing, was performing a routine training mission off the coast of Yakushima Island, Japan, with eight airmen on board when the incident occurred on 29 November, according to a statement published by the United States Air Force.

Emergency personnel are on scene conducting search and rescue operations for the aircraft, based at Yokota Air Base, Japan. The cause of the mishap and conditions of the crew are currently unknown.

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The Japanese Coast Guard reportedly received an emergency call from a fishing boat near the crash site off Yakushima Island on 29 November and rescue vessels have allegedly already found debris from the crash, an empty inflatable life raft, and recovered a crew member (later pronounced deceased).

Earlier this year, three US Marines were killed after their MV-22B Osprey crashed on a remote Northern Territory Island during a military exercise in August.

The distinctive tiltrotor aircraft, which had 23 on board, was taking part in Exercise Predators Run during the incident on Melville Island, 60 kilometres off the coast from Darwin.

A further five crew were evacuated to Darwin Hospital in serious condition during the incident.

The Osprey has been involved in five fatal crashes since 2012, causing 16 deaths, including an accident in California in June 2022 that saw the aircraft suffer “catastrophic, unpreventable, and unanticipated mechanical failure”.

NT Chief Minister Natasha Fyles called that NT crash a “terrible incident” and revealed the NT’s largest hospital had declared an emergency response at the time.

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