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Helicopter Landing Gear Retracted “On its Own”

Date Posted: 2003-07-11

An incident involving a large helicopter at Futenma Marine Corps Air Station that triggered a protest from the Ginowan mayor has been explained by the military. Responding the a newspaper query, the U.S. Marine Corps public affairs office says the June 20th belly-landing incident involving a CH-53E helicopter was caused by “landing gear that retracted by itself.”

Ginowan Mayor Yoichi Iha had met with Marine Corps officials to complain about the landing. There was no danger to the Ginowan community or the military crew. Military officials said a warning light indicated a landing gear problem, and when the pilot tried to reduce pressure on the landing gear by lifting off, the gear retracted and the helicopter was set back down on the runway.

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