U.S. to suspend flights of CH-53 helicopters in Japan
Jiji -- Oct 12
The U.S. military will suspend flights of CH-53 large transport helicopters in Japan, following the previous day's crash of one such aircraft in the village of Higashi in Okinawa Prefecture, southernmost Japan, Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera said Thursday.

At a meeting in Tokyo, Maj. Gen. Charles Chiarotti, deputy commander of U.S. forces in Japan, agreed to suspend the flights until the forces' initial probe determines the cause of the crash and confirms the safety of the helicopter, the defense minister told reporters.

Chiarotti was quoted as saying that the crashed CH-53, belonging to the U.S. Marine Corps' Futenma air station in Okinawa, made an emergency landing after its engine caught fire and smoke entered the aircraft during a routine training flight at sea.

The Defense Ministry will dispatch four Self-Defense Forces members who have CH-53 operational and maintenance experience to gather information.

11日に沖縄で起きたアメリカ軍ヘリの事故で、アメリカ側は飛行中に火災が起きて「住宅のない場所へ緊急着陸を行った」と説明していることが分かった。その一方で、小野寺防衛大臣は12日午後にアメリカ軍関係者と面会し、安全性が確認できるまで同型機の飛行停止で一致した。
News sources: Jiji, ANNnewsCH
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