Japan Ground Self-Defense Force resumes Osprey flights

Japan's Ground Self-Defense Force has resumed flights of Osprey tilt-rotor transport aircraft for the first time since a fatal crash last November.

The GSDF has 14 Ospreys deployed on a temporary basis at Camp Kisarazu in Chiba Prefecture, near Tokyo.

The fleet was grounded after a US military Osprey crashed off the southwestern prefecture of Kagoshima, killing all eight crewmembers on board.

The US military lifted its flight ban on March 8, saying the cause of the crash had been determined.

The GSDF put its Ospreys back in the air on Thursday, after completing the necessary maintenance and crew training.

One of three Ospreys parked side by side rotated its propellers shortly after 11:00 a.m. After final inspections, it left the ground vertically at around 11:40. It hovered for a few minutes, and then slowly flew over the camp's premises.

The GSDF plans to begin with basic aerial training around the camp and over the sea, before moving on to advanced training and duties.

Kisarazu City was briefed by the GSDF on safety measures on Monday.