May 16 (UPI) — The crash of a Japanese military plane Tuesday killed four crew members, the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force confirmed.
The twin-turboprop LR-2 reconnaissance plane crashed in mountains near Hokuto, on Japan’s Hokkaido island. It was traveling from Sapporo to Hakodate to airlift an emergency patient and a doctor. Aboard were the pilot, Capt. Isao Takamiyagi, 53; copilot Maj. Tomonori Yanagida, 41; and mechanics Sgt. First Class Takamasa Okaya, 42, and Sgt. Hironobu Tamaki, 28, Japan’s Ministry of Defense announced. The aircraft was a part of the Aviation Group of the GSDF Northern Army.
Police and rescue workers found fragments of the plane across a wide area near Hokuto’s Mount Hakamagoshi. About 1,800 people, including Army personnel, police officers, fire fighters and members of a local hunting club participated in the search operation.
Ground control operations lost contact with the plane as it prepared to land in thick fog and low visibility conditions. No problems were reported regarding the condition of the aircraft.