Poor Lookout, Altitude Control behind MSDF Chopper Crash


Tokyo, July 9 (Jiji Press)--Inadequate lookout and altitude control led to the April crash of two Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopters during night training off a remote Tokyo island, an MSDF report said Tuesday.

The two SH-60K helicopters were operating under the command of different commanding officers, and coordination between them was insufficient, the accident investigation report also said.

In the accident, the No. 16 helicopter of the MSDF's Omura air base in the southwestern prefecture of Nagasaki and the No. 43 helicopter of the MSDF's Komatsushima air base in the western prefecture of Tokushima collided on the night of April 20 at a point some 280 kilometers east of Torishima, an island in the Izu chain in the Pacific.

The No. 16 helicopter was commanded by the commander of the MSDF's 4th Escort Flotilla, and the No. 43 helicopter by the captain of the MSDF destroyer Suzunami.

The accident killed one crew member and left seven others missing. All of the seven were later declared dead.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press