There were no injuries after a U.S. military helicopter made an emergency landing Saturday on Okinawa, Japanese officials said.
A UH-1Y Venom from the 1st Marine Aircraft Wing made the landing at about 4 p.m. on an Ikei Island beach, said a spokesman for the Okinawa Defense Bureau, which is part of Japan’s Defense Ministry.
A witness told Okinawa Prefectural Police there was no fire or smoke coming from the helicopter after the incident.
The Marines told Japanese officials the helicopter made a “preventive landing” after a warning light came on indicating excessive speed from its main rotor, the Okinawa Defense Bureau spokesman said. The Marines are investigating why the warning light came on.
There were no reports of damages injuries, including to the helicopter’s four crew members, the spokesman said.
The aircraft was still at the beach Sunday being checked by the Marines, the defense bureau spokesman said.
The incident is the latest in a string of recent U.S. military aircraft mishaps on or around the southern Japanese island prefecture that have led to heightened safety concerns among Okinawa’s local population.
On Dec. 13, a CH-53E Super Stallion’s window inexplicably became separated from the aircraft and landed on an elementary school sports field adjacent to Marine Corps Air Station Futenma’s fence line. More than 50 schoolchildren were playing at the time, and one boy was slightly injured from a pebble that flew up during impact.
On Dec. 7, a plastic part thought to belong to a U.S. military helicopter landed on the roof of a local day care facility, leading to protests in front of U.S. military facilities.
In October, a 1st Marine Aircraft Wing Super Stallion made an emergency landing in a farmer’s field outside Okinawa’s Northern Training Area after an inflight fire. The aircraft was an almost total loss.
This story will be updated.
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