TOKYO, September 16 A US military cargo tiltrotor Osprey made an emergency landing at the civilian airport of Oita, NHK television reported.
The tiltrotor unexpectedly requested a landing from air traffic controllers and landed at the airport 15 minutes later. There were no signs of smoke and no one was injured. The reasons for the emergency landing are unknown at this time. However, due to the need to inspect the runway, there were partial delays in the takeoffs and landings of civil flights.
As the TV channel reported, on Wednesday, five emergency landings of American military Osprey tiltrotors occurred at two airports in southern Japan – New Ishigaki in Okinawa Prefecture and Amami Airport in Kagoshima Prefecture. The reasons for the incident are being clarified.
In Japan, any information about Osprey tiltrotors arouses keen interest, since the public has a strong distrust of these machines due to accidents and incidents associated with them.
In February 2018, a part weighing 13 kilograms that had fallen from a tiltrotor was discovered on the surface of the sea. In 2017, a tiltrotor made an emergency landing at Amami Airport, and the helicopter was seriously damaged when landing on the coastline in Okinawa Prefecture in 2016. The Japanese population is largely opposed to the use of Ospreys in their country due to unresolved safety issues. In 2017, three crew members were killed in an Osprey tiltrotor accident off the coast of Australia.
The American command insists on the efficiency of tiltrotors compared to conventional cargo helicopters: they reach twice the speed and are capable of lifting three times more cargo. A design feature of the tiltrotor is a rotating wing, which is equipped with a propeller and allows the device to combine the functions of an airplane and a helicopter. A side effect of this is their lack of stability: a minor error in control can lead to a serious accident.
Osprey tiltrotors are a multi-functional tilt-rotor aircraft that combines the vertical take-off, flight and landing capabilities of a helicopter with the speed, range and efficiency of an airplane. They are used primarily for special operations on enemy territory.