US Grounds V-22 Osprey After 8 Air Force Members Killed in Japan Crash

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The US military is grounding its entire fleet of V-22 Osprey aircraft after investigators suspect that a material failure, rather than human error, caused one to crash Nov. 29 off the coast of Japan, killing eight Air Force Special Operations Command service members. .

He Navy and Marine Corps joined the Air Force in grounding its V-22 tiltrotor aircraft while the investigation continues. Boeing and Bell, which jointly manufactured The planes are “prepared to provide support” if requested by the military, the companies said in a statement to the Washington Post.

Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, head of the Command, issued the order to stop the flights “to mitigate the risk while the investigation continues,” he said. wrote Wednesday. “Information from the preliminary investigation indicates that a possible material failure caused the accident, but the underlying cause of the failure is unknown at this time.”

“The suspension will provide time and space for a thorough investigation to determine causal factors and recommendations to ensure the Air Force’s CV-22 fleet returns to flight operations,” Bauernfeind wrote.

The CV-22 is the special operations variant of the Air Force Osprey. All V-22s can take off vertically and hover like a helicopter. When in flight, the V-22 can spin its massive rotors forward and fly with the range, fuel efficiency and speed of a turboprop aircraft.

The loss of the Air Force The Special Operations Command crew has highlighted previous V-22 accidents, including a June 2022 crash that killed five Marines. Investigators determined that the accident was caused by a mechanical problem with the aircraft’s clutch and recommended replacing the equipment after a certain number of flight hours. according to the Marine Corps.

The first operational CV-22 was delivered to the Command in January 2007, according to the branch’s website, and became fully operational in 2009. The plane costs about $70 million, with bodies as long as five-story buildings, The Post reported. reported. There are more than 400 V-22s flying in the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps fleets.

The V-22 that crashed on Nov. 29 was assigned to the 353rd Special Operations Wing at Yokota Air Base. She sank during a training mission near Yakushima Island, southern Japan. According to the Air Force, six of the bodies of the eight crew members have been recovered. Search teams are looking for the bodies of the two remaining crew members.

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