The lethal crash of a Marine V-22 Osprey in California final yr was attributable to mechanical failure, in keeping with an investigation that dominated out pilot and upkeep errors.
The greater than 400-page report launched on Friday concluded that the Marines have been doing routine flight operations when a “catastrophic, unpreventable and unanticipated mechanical failure occurred.” The Osprey crashed in a distant space close to Glamis, about 115 miles east of San Diego.
5 Marines died within the crash: Two pilots, Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, 31, of Rockingham, New Hampshire, and Capt. John J. Sax, 33, of Placer, California; and three crew chiefs, Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, 21, of Winnebago, Illinois; Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, 21, of Johnson, Wyoming, and Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland, 19, of Valencia, New Mexico.
“The tragedy of this occasion is inconceivable to seize in phrases,” mentioned Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering, who was commander of the third Marine Plane Wing, in a memo hooked up to the report. “It’s clear from the investigation that there was nothing the crew of SWIFT 11 may have finished to anticipate or forestall this aviation mishap.”
The report additionally dominated out any points with climate, birds or different exterior components. And it concluded that there must be no disciplinary actions or administrative actions in opposition to any Marines.
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In accordance with the investigation, the precise reason for the crash was a “twin onerous clutch engagement” that led to engine failure. The report mentioned the V-22 program workplace has labored to repair the clutch issues.
Col. Brian Taylor, a program supervisor, mentioned whereas the basis reason for the clutch failure hasn’t been recognized, various modifications and gear replacements have lowered the danger of it recurring by 99%, however haven’t eradicated it.
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The report notes there have been no direct witnesses to the accident in June 2022, and because of the fiery crash, the information recorder was not recovered.
As of April 2022, the Marine Corps and Navy had logged a complete of 422,165 flight hours on the Osprey since 2012. The report mentioned there have been 5 deadly crashes of Marine Ospreys since 2012, inflicting a complete of 16 deaths.
The investigation additionally discovered that since 2010 there have been 16 comparable clutch issues with the Marine Ospreys in flight. In February 2023 the Marine Corps started changing a chunk of kit on the plane, and there have been no comparable issues since then.
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The Osprey is a hybrid plane that takes off and lands like a helicopter, however throughout flight it will possibly rotate its propellers to a horizontal place and cruise like an airplane. Variations of the plane are flown by the Marine Corps, Navy and Air Power.