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Not one but two Futenma helicopters landed on remote island in Okinawa last week

Ryukyu Shimpo reported on the disclosure by the Okinawa Defense Bureau that when a Futenma-based CH-53E made an emergency landing on Aguni Island on the evening of Oct. 20, another helicopter landed there as well. The daily quoted a bureau spokesperson as saying: “We are aware that the additional helicopter took off ahead of the one that was experiencing the problem. However, we don’t know when it departed.” According to the bureau’s initial explanation, a single helicopter landed at an unattended airport after encountering a problem with its flight control system. The paper said a separate helicopter was dispatched to Aguni to repair the grounded one, which departed for the Futenma base the following day. According to a Futenma spokesperson, the helicopter that experienced the problem was engaged in refueling training before it landed. “After detecting a sign that warranted attention, the aircraft made a precautionary landing out of concern for those onboard even though it could have continued to fly,” the official added.

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