Waimanalo leaders concerned about Osprey crash
WAIMANALO, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Waimanalo community leaders expressed concern about the crash of a Marine Osprey aircraft that killed one marine and injured 21 others on Sunday.
"I'm concerned about what happens the next time. Or what happens if it's a house and not a runway? And what happens if it's not a hard landing, but a full-blown crash?" said Maile Vickery, mother of four children who's the president of Waimanalo Village Residence Corporation.
Vickery represents 178 families that live in the community that borders Bellows.
Her family lives so close that she recorded sounds of machine gun fire from her baby's room at 9 o'clock at night on her iPhone.
"Machine guns, bombs, explosives, shouts. They're so close, that we can hear them marching," Vickery said.
She's been a substitute teacher at Waimanalo Elementary and Intermediate where she said classes are sometimes interrupted by the sound of machine gun fire.
"This has been an ongoing issue in our community for the past couple of years. And we're always kind of brushed aside," Vickery said.
Andy Jamila, a member of the Waimanalo Neighborhood Board, said, "In my district, people had voiced their concerns saying that they'd like to re-visit the safety of the Ospreys. Is it a safe aircraft to fly over a populated area?"
Courtney Paulos, another Waimanalo Neighborhood Board member, told Hawaii News Now: "I know we're in war and they need to train, but I don't think this is right location for the training. It's too close," Paulos said.
Paulos said Marines should do more training at their base in Kaneohe instead of Waimanalo.
"And now they're doing it right in our community. What's wrong with K-Bay and training? They got the place, they got Mokapu Point where they did training before when I was a kid," Paulos added.
The Osprey aircraft that crashed has a history of mechanical failures and was nearly scrapped after 23 Marines were killed in two crashes 15 years ago.
The Marines plan to bring 24 of the Ospreys to the Kaneohe Marine Base in the next year, meaning residents of Kailua and Kaneohe will start seeing them much more often than they do now.
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