Bell-Boeing Osprey: Accident Prone?

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  • 06:34 AM, August 28, 2023
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Bell-Boeing Osprey: Accident Prone?
CV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft @U.S.A.F.

An Osprey tiltrotor aircraft with 23 people on board crashed during a U.S.-Australia joint training exercise, which brought memories of similar such accidents the aircraft was involved in.

During testing from 1991 to 2000, there were four crashes resulting in 30 fatalities. A report, issued way back in 2005, infamously labeled it the “Pentagon’s killer chopper-plane.

Since 2000, over 40 people have lost their lives in 11 Osprey-related incidents.

Sunday’s crash killed four U.S. Marines, and five others are said to be in critical condition. Investigators are working on finding out the root cause of why the Osprey went down.

As recently as August 15, Japan announced the resumption of flights for its Ospreys after a three-week suspension. This decision followed inspections prompted by the release of a report on the June 2022 crash of a U.S.M.C. Osprey in California, which resulted in the deaths of five Marines.

After observing an uptick in hard clutch engagement events, the U.S. military in February 2023 temporarily halted operations Ospreys across three services.

Previous Osprey crashes:

Nineteen Marines died in one of Osprey’s earliest major crashes that occurred in April 2000. The investigation revealed that a combination of factors, including pilot error, software issues, and hydraulic problems, led to the accident.

Bell-Boeing Osprey: Accident Prone?
MV-22 Osprey @NAVIAR

In December of the same year, another MV-22 crashed during a training mission, resulting in the deaths of four Marines. Investigators attributed this tragedy to a maintenance error.

Following nearly a decade of accident-free operations, an MV-22 crashed while attempting to land in Afghanistan in April 2010, resulting in the deaths of three Marines and one civilian contractor. The crash was determined to have been caused by a vortex ring state, a phenomenon where rotor blades encounter their own downwash.

Two crashes involving the Osprey occurred in 2012 – one in Morocco and another in Florida.

In May 2015, an MV-22 struck the ground in Hawaii, claiming the lives of two Marines. A year later, an Osprey landed in shallow waters off Okinawa, Japan, injuring two.

Both the Morocco crash and the 2017 accident in Australia, resulting in the deaths of two and three Marines respectively, were attributed to pilot error. The former incident was also linked to mechanical failure.

In 2017, a non-fatal accident involving the Osprey occurred in Syria, injuring two service members.

During March 2022, four U.S. service members lost their lives when the MV-22 Osprey they were traveling in crashed during NATO training exercises in Norway.

Bell-Boeing Osprey: Accident Prone?
List of V-22 Osprey crashes @Multiple sources
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