US Grounds CV-22 Osprey Helicopter Fleet
The United States has grounded its CV-22 Osprey helicopter fleet in the wake of an aircraft crash in Japan last week.
U.S. military’s CV-22 Osprey was on a routine training mission on November 29 when it crashed into waters off the coast of Yakushima Island in southern Kagoshima prefecture, killing all eight airmen on board.
In the wake of the U.S. military plane crash, the Japanese government urged the Pentagon to ground the operations of its Osprey hybrid planes in the country.
Air Force Special Operations Commander Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind said he has directed an operational stand down of the Air Force CV-22 fleet to mitigate risk while the investigation continues on the November 29, 2023 CV-22 mishap.
He revealed that preliminary investigation into the incident indicates “a potential materiel failure caused the mishap, but the underlying cause of the failure is unknown at this time”. “The stand-down 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 Air Force Special Operations Command expressed gratitude to the Joint Force and Japan’s Self-Defense Force, Coast Guard, law enforcement and civilian volunteers for their assistance in the search and rescue operations for U.S. Air Commandos.
The CV-22 Osprey is a multi-mission, tiltrotor military aircraft with both vertical takeoff and landing and short takeoff and landing capabilities. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft.
Years ago, Japan’s Okinawa residents had voiced concerns about the safety of Osprey planes.
The U.S. military’s other aircraft in this series have been involved in accidents previously, some of which were fatal.
This is the first fatal accident involving Osprey in Japan.
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