(RepublicanView.org) – Crews discovered the remains of the primary fuselage from an Osprey helicopter in Japanese waters last week.
As of December 6, all crew members aboard the helicopter have been declared dead, with six out of eight bodies located thus far. Search crews are still looking for other remains. A 24-year-old Staff Sergeant Jacob M. Galliher was the first crew member to be identified. He was found shortly after the crash, while the other crew members were identified later. According to Air Force officials, Galliher was originally from Pittsfield, MA.
US and Japanese forces have been collaborating their efforts for the search and recovery mission. It remains underway near the Japanese island of Yakushima. The Japanese government requested that the US military ground all Osprey flights in the area as it suspended flights of its own fleet. On December 6, the US revealed it was grounding its V-22 Osprey helicopters.
The crash marks one of the most tragic in the history of the Osprey aircraft. It follows a devastating August crash that killed three marines in Australia. The aircraft was carrying its passengers to a training mission. The training missions were preparing troops for a possible conflict with China as it continues showing aggression throughout the region.
According to witnesses at the scene, the aircraft in the most recent crash appeared to catch on fire and spin backwards just before it crashed into the ocean.
Osprey aircrafts have been involved in a number of crashes over the course of their 16- year history. Military officials have said that its design has been improved significantly during that time, along with the way that it is operated. The Osprey was specifically designed for missions in harsh environments and missions. Its Class-A mishap rate has still been deemed somewhat better than comparable military aircraft.
The aircraft has been severely scrutinized by the Japanese media over the years. Officials often express concern over the possible danger it poses to civilians. It’s one of the most common vehicles used for training missions in the region.
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