The U.S. military has notified the Japanese government that it plans to resume aerial refueling training for U.S. Corps Osprey aircraft as early as Friday, less than a month after the crash landing of one of the tilt-rotor aircraft, a Japanese government source said Wednesday.
The Japanese government is expected to accept the plan to use an Osprey from the Air Station Futenma in Okinawa after receiving detailed information on measures to prevent such accidents, the source said.
A U.S. Corps MV-22 Osprey crash-landed during aerial refueling training on Dec. 13. The U.S. forces resumed Osprey flights on Dec. 19 but continued to suspend such training.
The resumption of refueling training is likely to spark anger among local people, amid heightened concern about the safety of the aircraft.
In the crash landing, the aircraft broke apart and two of the five crew members were injured. The U.S. military blamed the incident on an oil duct problem during the middle of aerial refueling.
The Osprey belonging to the Air Station Futenma in Ginowan, central Okinawa, crash-landed in shallow waters off the island prefecture’s eastern coast, near the Henoko district of Nago where construction of a replacement facility for the Futenma base restarted recently despite strong local opposition.
The U.S. military resumed Osprey flights six days after the crash landing, saying it was not caused by any problem with the aircraft itself.