U.S Air Forces Grounds Entire Fleet of V-22 Ospreys Following Deadly Crash

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The U.S. Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps have grounded their fleets of V-22 Ospreys following a crash that killed eight crew members in Japan. 

The news was confirmed by the Air Force Special Operations Command this Wednesday.

AFSOC commander, Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, said he ordered the Ospreys to be grounded as ongoing investigations continue into the tilt-rotor aircraft, which could have led to the crash near Yakushima Island last month.

“The standdown will provide time and space for a thorough investigation to determine causal factors and recommendations to ensure the Air Force CV-22 fleet returns to flight operations,” the release said.

The release did not specify how long the fleet would be grounded.

On Thursday, The Associated Press reported that Naval Air Systems Command was following AFSOC’s lead.

The Press release added:

“Out of an abundance of caution, following the AFSOC operational stand down, NAVAIR is instituting a grounding bulletin for all V-22 Osprey variants Dec. 6. This decision comes after the V-22 Osprey mishap on Nov. 29, off the shore of Yakushima, Japan.”

Here is a clip of a successful Osprey landing.

However, according to early indications, the “GUNDAM 22” crash did not result from pilot error. 

“Preliminary investigation information indicates a potential materiel failure caused the mishap, but the underlying cause of the failure is unknown at this time,” the release said, adding, “While the mishap remains under investigation, we are implementing additional risk mitigation controls to ensure the safety of our service members.”

400 Ospreys belonging to the Marines, 51 to the Air Force and 27 to the Navy, will be grounded.

This isn’t the first time Ospreys have been grounded due to technical issues.

Last August, the Air Force grounded its fleet of aircraft following a “hard clutch engagement during flight.”

Another similar issue occurred in 2010.

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