NAHA, OKINAWA PREF. – A local bureau of the Defense Ministry reported to the Okinawa Prefectural Government on Thursday that a window of a U.S. Marine Corps helicopter detached from the aircraft and fell into the sea.
The part from the CH-53E large transport helicopter stationed at the U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan fell into the ocean at a point some 8 km (5 miles) off the east coast of Okinawa’s main island at around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, according to the report by the Okinawa Defense Bureau.
There have been no reports of damage so far, the bureau said.
The plastic window measured 58 centimeters by 47 centimeters, and weighed roughly 1 kilogram.
“We cannot help but feel angry over whether maintenance work is properly conducted, and over the fact that the report came two days after the incident occurred,” a senior prefectural government official said, adding that the prefectural government plans to file a complaint with the U.S. military.
A similar incident occurred in December 2017 when a window frame fell from a CH-53E helicopter into the playground of an elementary school in Ginowan which was located next to the Futenma base.
In June this year, a piece of rubber tape weighing about 20 grams fell from a CH-53E onto a tennis court of a junior high school in Urasoe, also in Okinawa.