Osprey wreckage arrives at Iwakuni base aboard U.S. forces ship

A salvage vessel owned by the U.S. military has reached Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni on Saturday with debris from a crashed Osprey transport aircraft. The crash took place in late November off a southwestern Japan island, resulting in the deaths of all eight individuals on board. The city government of Iwakuni in Yamaguchi Prefecture made the announcement, referring to a local bureau of Japan’s Defense Ministry. The U.S. military is anticipated to thoroughly examine the salvaged aircraft wreckage.

The arrival of the wreckage was confirmed by the city government of Iwakuni, with reference to the local bureau of Japan’s Defense Ministry. The U.S. military is expected to conduct a comprehensive examination of the wreckage for any insights into the cause of the crash, which occurred near Yakushima Island in Kagoshima Prefecture on November 29.

On Wednesday, it was verified that the wreckage had been successfully retrieved from the sea and placed onto the deck of the salvage vessel. Sources close to the matter have stated that the aircraft’s black box has also been recovered. This will enable the U.S. military to conduct a detailed investigation into the circumstances that led to the crash.

The salvaged wreckage belongs to the fuselage of the CV-22 transport aircraft, which was stationed at Yokota Air Base in the western outskirts of Tokyo. The fuselage, which was located underwater in early December near the island, is crucial to the investigation into the cause of the crash.

To date, the bodies of seven airmen have been recovered, and the U.S. Air Force has officially declared all eight crew members deceased. Subsequently, the U.S. military has suspended all Osprey flights globally, including non-Air Force flights, as preliminary findings suggested the possibility of a malfunction.

In response to the incident, Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Forces have also halted flights of its V-22 Ospreys, which were temporarily stationed at Camp Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo. The decision to suspend flights was made in light of the recent crash and the ongoing investigation into its cause.

The recovery of the wreckage and the suspension of Osprey flights both by the U.S. military and Japan’s Ground Self-Defense Forces signify the severity and urgency of fully understanding the circumstances that led to the tragic crash. The entire aviation community is closely following developments related to the investigation, as the safety and reliability of the Osprey aircraft are brought into question. The thorough examination of the salvaged wreckage and the black box data will be crucial in restoring confidence in the Osprey’s safety and ensuring the prevention of future accidents.

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