Helicopter crashes in southern Japan, pilot and two tourists seriously injured


The helicopter that crash-landed in Aso, Kumamoto Prefecture, on Monday afternoon (May 13, 2024). - Photo: The Yomiuri Shimbun via Japan News/ANN

KUMAMOTO (The Japan News/ANN): Three people were seriously injured after a sightseeing helicopter crash-landed in the mountains of Aso, a city in the south-western Kumamoto prefecture, on Monday (May 13) afternoon.

Two foreign passengers, both in their 30s, and the pilot in his 50s were all conscious but suffered a broken hip and other injuries.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry designated the incident as an aviation accident. The Japan Transport Safety Board dispatched three aviation accident inspectors for investigation.

According to the Aso Police Station, the transport ministry and other sources, the helicopter is owned by Okayama-based company Takumi Enterprise and uses Aso City’s theme park Aso Cuddly Dominion as a landing platform.

The two passengers signed up for a 10-minute sightseeing flight around the crater of Mount Aso and the helicopter departed the facility at around 11.50am. The pilot noticed a drop in engine revolutions and made an emergency landing.

Takumi Enterprise president Takumi Morioka said: “An inspection that morning found no issues. We will investigate the cause as soon as possible.” THE JAPAN NEWS/ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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