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Update: US CV-22B Osprey crashes in Japanese waters

The US Air Force said the Bell Boeing CV-22B involved in the mishap was an aircraft from the 353rd Special Operations Wing. The unit operates its CV-22Bs from Yokota Air Base near Tokyo. (US Air Force)

A Bell Boeing CV-22 Osprey of the US Air Force (USAF) has crashed in Japanese waters.

In a statement later on 29 November US Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) said the CV-22B Osprey from the 353rd Special Operations Wing was involved in the “mishap”.

The aircraft was “performing a routine training mission off the shore of Yakushima Island, Japan, with eight airmen on board,” the AFSOC statement said, adding that the aircraft had taken off from Yokota Air Base.

In a press conference in Tokyo later on 29 November Japanese Parliamentary Vice-Minister of Defense Hiroyuki Miyazawa said the CV-22 “made an emergency water landing off the coast of Yakushima” at 1440 h local time. Clarifying his use of the term “emergency landing”, Miyazawa said the Ministry of Defense (MoD) had “received an explanation from the US side … that the pilots did their best [to control the aircraft] until the very end”.

On 4 December Japan MoD spokesperson told Janes that it had a combined search team of Japan Coast Guard, US military, and Japan Self-Defense Forces units, and local fishermen had “found what appeared to be parts of the aircraft and a liferaft in the sea in the area where the incident occurred”.

AFSOC confirmed later on 4 December that the combined search team had “located remains along with the main fuselage of the aircraft wreckage”. AFSOC added that it had recovered the remains of two crew members.

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