Japanese military helicopter splits apart in crash outside Tokyo

A Japanese UH-1 Iroquois helicopter crash-landed outside Tokyo during a training exercise. File Photo courtesy of the U.S. Air Force

June 22 (UPI) — A Japanese military helicopter split in two when it crash-landed in a Tokyo suburb Friday, but no one was injured.

The Ground Self-Defense Force helicopter was conducting an emergency landing training exercise when it hit the ground tail first about 9:57 a.m. local time. The pilot and co-pilot escaped the UH-1 Iroquois helicopter unharmed.

They were practicing a simulation of what would happen if the tail rotor broke down. The helicopter lost its balance and landed on its tail due to pilot error. The helicopter’s tail split from the cabin.

“We apologize for making residents in the neighborhood anxious,” Defense Minister Takeshi Iwaya said.

The helicopter took off from Camp Tachikawa, a former U.S. facility that was returned to Japan in 1977. It’s about a mile away from Yokota Air Base, where the U.S. Air Force still operates.

The helicopter transports ground personnel and materials and can also conduct rescue missions.


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