Rubber part falls from chopper onto school in Okinawa: U.S. Marines
Japan Today -- Jun 06
The U.S. Marines in Okinawa said Wednesday that a piece of rubber tape attached to a wing blade of a U.S. military helicopter fell onto the grounds of a junior high school in Okinawa the previous day.

It was the latest incident involving a part falling from a military aircraft in the southern island prefecture, which hosts the bulk of U.S. forces in Japan. No one was injured in the latest incident.

The rubber blade tape, which landed in a tennis court at Uranishi junior high school Tuesday afternoon, was initially described by school officials as a black rubber sheet around 12 centimeters long, about 18 cm wide and weighing 20 grams.

A helicopter flew over the school immediately after the rubber piece landed, but it was not immediately clear whether the piece was from that chopper, according to a local official.

The U.S. Marine Corps told Kyodo News that the rubber tape is used to protect the tip of a CH-53E large transport helicopter wing blade, adding it will inspect its helicopters and replace blade tape where necessary.

The Okinawa prefectural government criticized the U.S. military for what it called "insufficient maintenance."

News source: Japan Today
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