Four MSDF servicemen treated after helicopter flips over at Iwakuni Air Base

A Maritime Self-Defense Force helicopter flipped over near the ground Thursday at an air base in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, injuring three servicemen and leaving another unwell, the MSDF said.

The CH-101 chopper overturned at the MSDF’s Iwakuni Air Base while descending during a drill involving hauling cargo suspended from the aircraft, according to the MSDF.

Four of the eight male servicemen aboard the helicopter were treated at hospital after the 2:20 p.m. accident. Three had sustained light injuries while another complained of feeling ill.

The MSDF said a CH-101 assigned to the Japanese icebreaker Shirase for an Antarctic expedition was on a training flight when it flipped over on its side, damaging its main rotor.

According to the MSDF website, the CH-101, measuring 22.8 meters long and 18.6 meters wide, is flown by a crew of four. Depending on the mission, the number of servicemen aboard the multipurpose chopper can be more than four.

The Iwakuni air base is adjacent to U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Iwakuni, and its runway is jointly used by the MSDF and the U.S. Air Force. The base is also used for commercial aviation as Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport.

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