Days after local residents near Yokota Air Base, Japan, protested the arrival of five Air Force CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft due to safety concerns, part of a military parachute landed on the grounds of a nearby school.
A parachutist was forced to cut away the main chute when both the main and reserve parachutes deployed after jumping out of a C-130J, according to the Air Force.
Troops are required to do this to avoid the two parachutes getting tangled and potentially endangering the parachutist’s life, the 374th Airlift Wing said in a statement.
“Part of the reserve parachute that is designed to break away after the reserve parachute is deployed was carried away by the wind and landed on the grounds of Hamura’s No. 3 Middle School without causing any injuries or damage,” the statement said.
Japan’s Defense Ministry said it received a report that a student found an unfolded parachute on the school’s tennis court, according to NHK, Japan’s national public broadcasting organization.
Training was suspended until the incident could be fully investigated, and it was found that the aircrew and parachutist followed all established safety procedures, according to the Air Force. The wing inspected its parachutes during this time to ensure their reliability.
Training is scheduled to resume on Thursday.
“While we are grateful that no one was injured and no property damage occurred, we regret that this incident caused concerns in the Hamura community,” the Air Force statement said.
Tensions had already been running high due to safety concerns about the Ospreys, following several incidents involving the aircraft in Japan.
In March, an Army Black Hawk helicopter missed its mark during training and dropped an equipment bundle onto an elementary school campus in Hawaii. The exercise was designed to teach soldiers how to deliver equipment by parachute from helicopters.