Japanese Defense Minister Satoshi Morimoto said on Tuesday that the two recent accidents involving the U.S. military's Osprey aircraft occurred during tilting of its rotors.
Talking to reporters in Tokyo, he said the U.S. Defense Department gave the information to Japanese officials last week.
Ospreys crashed in Morocco in April and the U.S. state of Florida this month. The Bell-Boeing built aircraft can tilt its two rotors for takeoff and for vertical landing. It can also cruise at high speed.
The Florida accident occurred during target practice when the rotors were tilted halfway, while in the Morocco crash that killed two crew-members, the Osprey lost balance while its rotors were moving from an upright to forward position.
The U.S. plans to deploy the aircraft at the U.S. Marine Futenma base in Okinawa island of southern Japan despite local protests.
Morimoto said he had told the U.S. authorities that more information was needed to win the support of local municipalities for the deployment, Japanese media reports said.
by RTT Staff Writer
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