Losses and Aviation Safety

USMC CH-53 THAT MADE AN EMERGENCY LANDING IN EMPTY FIELD IN OKINAWA HAD AN IN-FLIGHT ENGINE FIRE

No injuries were reported among the seven crewmembers aboard the CH-53

On Oct. 11, 2017 a U.S. Marine Corps (USMC) CH-53 helicopter from Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron 462 (HMH-462) made an emergency landing in an empty field near Higashi village, Okinawa, after having experienced an in-flight engine fire.

According to The Japan Times no injuries were reported among the seven crewmembers aboard the helicopter.

In the following YouTube video taken on the crash site you can see another CH-53 attempting to put out the fire using a helibucket.

Japanese authorities asked the U.S. military to provide a full report and take steps to prevent similar accidents.

To quickly address these concerns the USMC in Japan announced a four-day operational halt for the CH-53 transport helicopters stationed in Okinawa.

As reported by Kyodo News the accident site was found to have been about 300 meters away from residential houses.

“Accidents by the U.S. Marine Corps are continuing. We want to communicate to the U.S. side that we demand safe operations,” Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera told reporters.

In December, five crew members aboard a USMC MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor were injured in what the Pentagon described as a “mishap” resulting in the plane landing in shallow water off Okinawa.

After that incident Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said it was “very regrettable” that a “serious accident” had occurred and stressed that being able to operate safely was a “prerequisite” for the aircraft to be based in Japan.

A series of accidents in other countries involving the hybrid aircraft prompted protests by residents in Okinawa after its deployment there.

In August, U.S. Marines were forced to mount a major search and rescue mission after an MV-22 Osprey crashed of the east coast of Australia.

They were able to rescue 23 out of the 26 personnel on board the aircraft.

More recently another USMC MV-22 crashed on a coalition base in Syria. Two U.S. service members were injured during the incident.

noteworthy more than half the approximately 47,000 American troops in Japan under a decades-long security alliance are stationed on Okinawa, the site of a major World War II battle that was followed by a 27-year U.S. occupation of the island.

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

SR-71 pilot recalls when his RSO Flipped Off a French Air Force Mirage III Pilot (Then They lit their Blackbird’s Afterburners and Outran him)

The SR-71 Blackbird The SR-71 reconnaissance aircraft was the world’s fastest jet-propelled aircraft and the… Read More

5 hours ago

USAF to test F-16 “Super Squadron” concept in South Korea

F-16 “Super Squadron” concept in South Korea Seventh Air Force has begun initial aircraft and… Read More

5 hours ago

USAF T-39A Pilot who Classified First in his UPT Class Tells why He Chose to Fly the Sabreliner Business Jet instead of the F-15 Eagle Fighter Jet

The F-15 Eagle The F-15 Eagle is an all-weather, extremely maneuverable, tactical fighter designed to… Read More

1 day ago

The K-19, the first Soviet nuclear-powered strategic missile submarine that experienced a reactor failure on the first missile-firing voyage

The K-19 Project 658 (NATO reporting name Hotel I-class) K-19, the first Soviet nuclear-powered strategic… Read More

2 days ago

USAF F-16 Pilot explains why a Viper is more comfortable than a commercial airplane for long-haul flights

Fighter pilots Utilizing extraordinary skill and precision, fighter pilots push their aircraft’s limits with complete… Read More

2 days ago