Marine Corps Jet Crashes Off the Coast of Okinawa, Pilot Rescued
Updated 2 hrs 42 mins ago
A U.S. Marine Corps pilot ejected safely from a Harrier jet that crashed into the Pacific Ocean off the coast of the Japanese island of Okinawa Thursday, the U.S. Pacific Command confirmed to ABC News in a statement.
The incident took place at approximately 2:00 p.m. local time near Kadena Air Base, the statement said. The aircraft involved was an AV-8 Harrier pilot.
The Air Force's 33rd Rescue Squadron, also out of Kadena Airbase, successfully recovered the pilot.
The aircraft went down in the ocean about 100 nautical miles east of Okinawa.
The cause of the incident is under investigation, the statement said.
US fighter jet crashes off Japanese island of Okinawa
By Euan McKirdy and Junko Ogura, CNN
Updated 0948 GMT (1748 HKT) September 22, 2016
A US military fighter jet like the one shown above crashed off the Japanese island of Okinawa.
Japanese coast guard has deployed rescue teams
The Harrier fighter jet departed the Kadena US Air Base
Tokyo (CNN)A US Marine Corps pilot ejected safely when his fighter jet crashed into the waters off the Japanese island of Okinawa, officials said.
The fighter jet, a Marine Corps AV-8B Harrier Jump Jet, departed the Kadena US Air Base and crashed 153 km (95 miles) off Hedo Cape, according to a local coast guard official.
The Japanese coast guard deployed rescue teams at 2 p.m. local time (1 a.m ET) and received a report two hours later that at least one person has been pulled from the crash site.
The pilot ejected and was rescued by a team from the US Air Force, the Marine Expeditionary Force said in a statement.
"The cause of the incident is under investigation," the statement added.
The flight was a routine training mission, said Eric Flanagan, spokesman for Third Marine Expeditionary Force. The pilot was the only person on board the aircraft.
"From the US Marine Corps perspective, the most important part is that the pilot ejected safely and is now safe on deck back in Okinawa," he added.
In the US military, the Harrier jet, which has vertical takeoff and landing capability, is primarily used by the Marines. The plane entered production in the early 1980s and continued to be made until 2003. It is scheduled to remain in service until 2025.
In September 2014, an AV-8B caught fire near one of its tires after an emergency landing at Kadena Air Base. The pilot walked away.
Okinawa, Japan's southernmost prefecture, is home to a large US military presence. The US bases are a source of tension with the island's residents, largely due to their cost and safety concerns.
In June, tens of thousands of Okinawans took to the streets of the prefecture's capital, Naha, demanding an end to the country's presence on the island following the killing of a local woman.
CNN's Will Ripley and Chieu Luu contributed to this report.
McDonnell Douglas AV-8B Harrier II
|Owner/operator:||US Marine Corps (USMC)|
|C/n / msn:|| |
|Fatalities:||Fatalities: 0 / Occupants: 1|
|Airplane damage:||Written off (damaged beyond repair)|
|Location:||150km E of Cape Hedo, Okinawa - Japan|
|Departure airport:||Kadena Air Base (RODN)|
After taking off from from Kadena AB at 1300LT, the aircraft crashed offshore. The pilot is reported to have been rescued.