Harriers on Okinawa returning to air after crash grounded jets
CAMP FOSTER, Okinawa — The Marine Corps will resume AV-8B Harrier flights from Okinawa, two weeks after one of the jets inexplicably crashed off the island prefecture’s eastern seaboard.
An initial review of the crash and safety inspections determined the aircraft pose no threat to the local population, Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson, III Marine Expeditionary Force commander, announced Wednesday. He declined to provide further details on the cause of the Sept. 22 crash because it is still under investigation.
The Harrier flights will resume Friday.
“Preliminary reports from ongoing investigations do not identify the incident’s cause as systemic in the aircraft, aircrew or maintenance,” Nicholson said. “A thorough review of command culture, aircrew, maintenance, and material readiness have determined that VMA-542 (Marine Attack Squadron 542) is ready and prepared to resume flight operations.”
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