Saturday, 22 September, 2018

GSDF helicopter had main rotor replaced before crash

Military helicopter crashes in residential area of southern Japan- police GSDF helicopter had main rotor replaced before crash
Nellie Chapman | 06 February, 2018, 15:54

SAGA, Japan (Kyodo) - One Ground Self-Defense Force member died and another is missing after a helicopter crashed into a house in southwestern Japan on Monday afternoon, the central and local governments said.

Apart from this maintenance, the GSDF conducted work including replacing the main rotor head, a part installed at the foot of a main rotor to transmit the engine's power to the rotor, according to the GSDF.

MSgt. Hiroki Takayama, the 26-year-old co-pilot, was confirmed dead Monday and local police had been searching for the remains of Lt Col Kenichi Saito, the 43-year-old pilot.

Japanese authorities said Tuesday they had recovered a body part during the search for a crew member missing in a deadly military helicopter crash in the country's southwest.

An 11-year-old girl was in the house at the time, but survived with minor injuries.

The AH-64D attack helicopter, which was based at the GSDF Metabaru Camp, crashed into the two-story home in the city of Kanzaki in Saga Prefecture during a test flight at 4:43 p.m., setting it ablaze and gutting it. It flew about 6 kilometers before crashing.

The defence ministry said it has suspended the flight of all 12 of its AH-64 helicopters for inspections.

Flight controllers had communicated with the helicopter two minutes after takeoff, but no abnormalities were reported, a GSDF official said.

Rescue services have been deployed to the scene, where plumes of black smoke have been seen billowing from the crash site.

The house the helicopter crashed into belongs to a family of four and was engulfed by flames after the impact.

The Defense Ministry said both crewmembers suffered heart and lung failure. "Our daughter was shocked, but she is doing fine".