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Self-Defense Force chopper makes crash landing in Tokyo; crew unharmed

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This is shocking, irresponsible, and unacceptable! This could have killed people if it happened somewhere else!There are kindergartens and schools only a few hundred meters from this base! All JGSDF helicopters need to be grounded now!

That only applies when it's an American aircraft that crashes. It's a repugnant, transparent double standard.

8 ( +16 / -8 )

What a waste of tax money

Yes, I prefer when tax money is used for more sensible aircraft crashes.

What kind of statement is this? Like they have a line item in the 2019 SDF budget marked ‘scheduled helicopter crashes’...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Wow some people think protests against US bases are nationalist movements. wtf. The opposite is true.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

This came down not far from my apartment. I always wondered when one of them was going to have a problem and bite the dust. Glad the crew is OK. What an awful autorotation though.

I do not like how low and slow some of these guys get when doing circuits around Tachikawa over built up residential areas. As this photograph clearly shows, he did not have enough speed to perform a good autorotation (Or perhaps his technique was bad). I've seen some of these guys hovering over built up areas with a tailwind, and others cruising around at 20 or 30 knots in calm winds at very low altitudes, both total no-no's in helicopters.

I've complained about Tokyo's bad air planning for years. It's not an issue of noise, in flying, speed and altitude are life. When you start puttering around at 40 knots and 500 feet like these guys do when practicing circuits in Tachikawa, eventually someone's going to have an engine failure and end up wiping out a cheaply built apartment building. They've got aircraft doing approaches over Shibuya now too to ease congestion at Haneda. It is only a matter of time before some clown forgets his IFR, or worse, can't remember how to fly without the autopilot and buries the plane into a tall building there.

JSDF and the aviation authorities in general need to implement mandatory minimum speed and altitude restrictions for flights over the city. The helicopter training area has a landing strip large enough for small aircraft, it's more than enough for them to slow from any speed the Hueys can achieve, and descend from a safer altitude before reaching the end of the strip. If they want to do dead man's curve practice they need to make sure they're doing it over the base or anywhere else where a failed attempt will hurt people on the ground.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

So, are there gonna be any demonstrations?

Like the ones you had with the Osprey incidents?

Got my doubts.

5 ( +16 / -11 )

This is shocking, irresponsible, and unacceptable! This could have killed people if it happened somewhere else!There are kindergartens and schools only a few hundred meters from this base! All JGSDF helicopters need to be grounded now!

Joking aside, that's one failed attempt at an autorotate.

5 ( +15 / -10 )

I want to see the same outrage and protests as if this had been a US Army chopper.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

That only applies when it's an American aircraft that crashes. It's a repugnant, transparent double standard.

Is it though? Japan has limited power to investigate such incidents. Cooperation from the US side is at the whim of the US.

https://thediplomat.com/2018/05/japans-us-air-base-safety-probe-in-deadlock/

At least Japan is able to fully investigate its own SDF incidents without requiring the invitation of a foreign entity.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Chopper chopped.

4 ( +9 / -5 )

Is the public going to freak out like they do when a US Aircraft Crashes in Japan? I am sure not, because it is a Japanese Aircraft, and no Americans are involved.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Oops, some one broke their toy!

Glad no one killed.

It happens, for all our technical skill, helicopters are intrinsically unsafe; once the rotor stops it’s a flying brick.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

The emergency landing training exercise became suddenly too real.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Is it? Being upset at seeing the military equipment of another country in your own country seems understandable.

Then so state.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Which is completely irrelevant to Japanese people throwing tantrums when aircraft of the US crash and staying silent when their own crash.

It's relevant to American arrogance in its operation of bases here. Some Americans, and you're apparently one of them, find it impossible to understand what it would be like to live with that arrogance. Or even to think about what it might be like.

A common American attitude is to expect gratitude from non-Americans, even in countries they have invaded and occupied, or are simply bombing from the air: the "we're trying to help them" syndrome.

You expect proportionality and evenhandedness from ordinary Japanese in these incidents. I say it's not obligatory. America doesn't host bases for other countries to operate as they please, but you can take it from me, being from a country that has hosted both American bases and American nuclear weapons, that people have (at best) mixed feelings about the territorial issues, along with numerous other problems, and commonly feel considerable resentment that safety issues are beyond the control of the home country.

And the arrogance, by the way, is only fanned by the knowledge that the consequences of dangerous, unethical or illegal behaviour will be limited. That's the story of US bases across the planet.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

How so? I thought helis were designed to do this sort of thing?

helicopters can hover, but hovering with tailwinds is generally considered undesirable. hovering with tailwinds while surrounded by buildings or other obstacles is considered very dangerous.

when you have good forward airspeed in a helicopter, your rotor disc acts sort of like a giant wing, meaning you can effectively glide to safety even if the engine croaks. at the very end of the glide you're supposed to pull collective, which basically makes the rotor blades bite more into the air, giving more lift. when it's done properly it lets you land softly in a forward sliding manner. when it's done badly it looks like the photo in this article. this is called an autorotation.

my beef with them in tachikawa is that they routinely bust safety speeds and altitudes. when the helicopter crosses a certain line (going too slowly) it becomes impossible to successfully autorotate. you will end up like the chopper in the photo in a good case, or you will smash the ground and die in the worst case, but there is no chance of a happy autorotation once into this regime of flight - it's called the dead man's curve. there are certain altitude parameters which factor into this as well. the tachikawa guys can be seen flying very low on occasion and just hovering around needlessly.

hovers are a risk-reward tradeoff. they can be done, yes, but probably shouldn't be done unless there's a need to do one, and if you are doing one, it should be done with the nose into the wind whenever possible. doing otherwise is just disregarding safety protocol and eventually it will catch up with the pilots who are doing it.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Fortunately no one was hurt or worse. From the looks of it, it was a pretty damn hard landing.

2 ( +9 / -7 )

You buy all this US equipment and still talk to G.. even the bad places?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I've seen some of these guys hovering over built up areas with a tailwind, and others cruising around at 20 or 30 knots in calm winds at very low altitudes, both total no-no's in helicopters.

How so? I thought helis were designed to do this sort of thing?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

OK children, this is how you shouldn't do an autorotation landing.

... Glad they're safe, by the looks of it the shock was very serious.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

At least Japan is able to fully investigate its own SDF incidents without requiring the invitation of a foreign entity.

Which is completely irrelevant to Japanese people throwing tantrums when aircraft of the US crash and staying silent when their own crash.

If they want to complain about the tUS military being in the country, do so. If they want to complain about the lack of access to US investigations of crashed aircraft, do so.

If they want to complain about aircraft crashes, complain when any aircraft crashes, not just aya's military aircraft.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

*Aya's aircraft are notorious for crashing.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@paradoxbox, thanks for the reply, very informative

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Typed all of that and still completely missed Chip Star’s point.

I didn't miss it, I disagree with it. It may have struck you as thought-provoking and profound; I already outined how it strikes me, and what it says about an all-too-common attitude among Americans.

Crying about one helicopter incident and being silent about another just because of the helicopter’s owner is hypocritical and stupid.

So is the expectation that US impunity should be crammed down Japanese throats and they should just keep quiet about it.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

So is the expectation that US impunity should be crammed down Japanese throats and they should just keep quiet about it.

Still stuck on this... who said anything about ‘US impunity’? No one except you.

The simple fact is that if that exact same helicopter had ‘US Marines’ painted on the side instead of a red circle, there would be people protesting and shouting that these helicopters are unsafe and need to be grounded. But because it is a SDF helicopter, no one is saying a word about it. So for some reason, even though this helicopter just crashed and split in half, the public isn’t worried at all about its ‘safety’.

Its no different than say, if Narita banned 737 max jets from landing in Tokyo, but only the ones operated by foreign airlines, and declaring the Japanese ones are fine. Either protest about the safety of any military aircraft that has an incident or don’t do it at all.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

On a more serious note, there is a lot of Helicopter traffic flying over central Tokyo - I hope that the Pilots of those aircraft also have received similar training as otherwise, one day, we could be reading of a rather sad event.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Snapped off like a piece of plastic . . . needs steel.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Time to ban all SDF choppers and get them out of Japan! This could have been a school!

-1 ( +10 / -11 )

Still stuck on this... who said anything about ‘US impunity’? No one except you.

The impunity is a fact, and it's relevant because it affects what happens whenever there is an accident involving the US military on Japanese territory, in Japanese airspace, or in Japanese waters. The USS Fitzgerald collision, about which Japanese investigators were not permitted to interview US crewmen who were involved, was yet another example. All they were offered were summaries based on US investigators' questioning - which is a very stacked deck.

Some commenters shoehorned the US into this thread, which accompanies a story that wasn't even about the United States, and they (you included) are griping about a non-story: what ordinary Japanese citizens aren't doing after this crash of a Japanese aircraft. That brings me back yet again to the contemptuous attitude that underlies a lot of Americans' thinking concerning the US military presence in Japan (and many other countries besides). It's encapsulated by comments like this:

Either protest about the safety of any military aircraft that has an incident or don’t do it at all.

People can choose what they protest about and don't protest about. It shouldn't surprise you at all that Okinawa bases are a magnet for protests. They happen for a whole variety of reasons, and if you really don't get it, and can't get it, that's precisely what I meant by Americans who fail to even think about what it's like on the receiving end. They want it both ways - to act as they please, and not be resented for it. It's an imperialist mentality.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

It's relevant to American arrogance in its operation of bases here. Some Americans, and you're apparently one of them, find it impossible to understand what it would be like to live with that arrogance. Or even to think about what it might be like.

A common American attitude is to expect gratitude from non-Americans, even in countries they have invaded and occupied, or are simply bombing from the air: the "we're trying to help them" syndrome.

You expect proportionality and evenhandedness from ordinary Japanese in these incidents. I say it's not obligatory. America doesn't host bases for other countries to operate as they please, but you can take it from me, being from a country that has hosted both American bases and American nuclear weapons, that people have (at best) mixed feelings about the territorial issues, along with numerous other problems, and commonly feel considerable resentment that safety issues are beyond the control of the home country.

And the arrogance, by the way, is only fanned by the knowledge that the consequences of dangerous, unethical or illegal behaviour will be limited. That's the story of US bases across the planet.

Typed all of that and still completely missed Chip Star’s point. If you don’t want the US there then just say you don’t want the US there. Crying about one helicopter incident and being silent about another just because of the helicopter’s owner is hypocritical and stupid.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What a waste of tax money

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

Time to ban all SDF choppers and get them out of Japan! This could have been a school!

The nationalists will be out blaming US technology here, it can't possibly be Japans fault..

-4 ( +5 / -9 )

JustAGoodOleBoy: "I want to see the same outrage and protests as if this had been a US Army chopper."

Why? you think those guys actually care about SAFETY? haha.

-5 ( +3 / -8 )

Is the public going to freak out like they do when a US Aircraft Crashes in Japan? I am sure not, because it is a Japanese Aircraft

No they wont freak out because Japan is full of double standards, if this was an American chopper all hell would break loose and they would be baying for the banning of all US choppers in Japan... but the nationalists will just shrug here and say ' shoganai'

-5 ( +5 / -10 )

It's a repugnant, transparent double standard.

Is it? Being upset at seeing the military equipment of another country in your own country seems understandable.

-7 ( +6 / -13 )

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