After Deadly Crash, US Grounds Entire Fleet of Ospreys

Military is trying to determine 'underlying cause' of failure that led to crash
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2023 4:56 AM CST
US Military Grounds Its Entire Fleet of Ospreys
A US military CV-22 Osprey takes off from Iwakuni base, Yamaguchi prefecture, western Japan.   (Kyodo News via AP, File)

The US military has grounded its entire fleet of V-22 Ospreys while the investigation of a deadly crash off southwestern Japan continues. The Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps grounded hundreds of aircraft after a preliminary investigation determined that a problem with the tilt-rotor aircraft, not a human error, caused the crash, the AP reports. Japan, the only other nation that operates Ospreys, has also grounded its fleet, reports the BBC.

"Preliminary investigation information indicates a potential materiel failure caused the mishap, but the underlying cause of the failure is unknown at this time," the Navy said, per CNN. The crash last week killed eight Air Force Special Operations Command service members. AFSOC said they were on a "routine training mission" at the time. The Air Force said the "operational standdown" will likely remain in place until the cause of the crash can be determined.

The Osprey, which can take off and land like a helicopter and move like an airplane during flight, is "a relatively young aircraft in the military's fleet," the AP notes. Reuters reports that according to the Flight Safety Foundation, at least 50 military personnel have died in crashes operating or testing the aircraft. More than 20 of those deaths came after it entered service in 2007. A crash in Australia in August killed three Marines. (More Osprey stories.)

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