15:08 GMT14 August 2020
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    The crash of a US-made Black Hawk helicopter 20 miles east of Okinawa on the USNS Red Cloud, which injured seven people onboard the aircraft, has been pinned down to a pilot’s mistake.

    A report conducted by the Japanese Defense Ministry regarding the tumultuous descent of an MH-60 Black Hawk chopper performing a “hard-deck landing” on a surface ship off the coast of Okinawa in 2015 found no technical flaws with the rotorcraft. It instead attributed the crash to a technical error, Stars and Stripes reports. 

    "It could not be confirmed that the accident had anything to do with the MH-60 helicopter itself," the recently released report said.

    Seven of the 17 people on board the downed Black Hawk were taken to US Naval Hospital Okinawa at Camp Foster. Five of those taken for treatment were US personnel, two were Japanese.

    The Black Hawk was crossing over the ship when a rotor blade struck the mast of the ship, forcing the aircraft down to the Red Cloud’s deck.

    In June of 2015, two National Guard service members and seven US Marines were killed in a Black Hawk crash 50 miles off the coast of Florida.  

    An MV-22 Osprey that crashed off the east coast of mainland Australia on August 5 spurred a search and rescue mission by US and Australian maritime security personnel but was later called off. Three of the 26 marines in the Osprey when the accident occurred were not found. The tragedy spurred Japan to request the US ground all MV-22s operating in Japan. 

    The Osprey has suffered 10 crashes since 1991.

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    Tags:
    Black Hawk, Okinawa
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