The U.S. military aims to resume flying one of its Ospreys in Okinawa Prefecture in the coming week after grounding the entire fleet of the controversial tilt-rotor aircraft in Japan following a crash, a Japanese government source said Saturday.
In a move certain to anger local residents, the U.S. military has told the government it wants to fly one U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 aircraft from Iejima Island airfield to the Futenma base on Okinawa’s main island on Monday at the earliest, the source said.
The crew of one of the 24 transport aircraft deployed at the Futenma base ditched in shallow water off the island’s eastern coast Tuesday night. It was the first major accident involving the aircraft since the start of its deployment in Japan in 2012.
Opposition to the deployment of the Osprey has been strong in Okinawa, given a slew of fatal accidents involving the aircraft that have occurred overseas, particularly during its development phase.
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