Air Force Grounds Osprey Fleet Following Horrifying Crash

Air Force Grounds Osprey Fleet Following Horrifying Crash

( – Over the past few years, significant concerns have developed surrounding some of the military’s aircraft, including one in particular, the CV-22 Osprey. Several accidents have placed the craft at the forefront of media reports after resulting in multiple deaths. Now, one tragic incident in Japan has prompted the Air Force to ground the entire fleet.

On Wednesday, November 29, the Air Force was carrying out routine training operations just off the Japanese island of Yakushima when a CV-22 Osprey carrying eight passengers crashed in the ocean. Search-and-rescue operations began immediately, but it took two days to recover one body, that of 24-year-old Staff Sgt. Jacob M. Galliher. In the following week, the USAF recovered another five bodies and released the identities of all of the airmen who died or whom it presumes dead.

In light of this crash, the military is taking proactive measures and grounding the fleet, according to an announcement released on Wednesday, December 6. Commander of the USAF Special Operations Command, Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, said, “The standdown will provide time and space for a thorough investigation” into the crash and hopefully provide recommendations to clear the Ospreys for flight again.

Military forces widely covet the Ospreys because of their versatility. They can take off and land vertically, much like a helicopter, but once airborne, operators can adjust the rotors to fly like a plane. However, several accidents have made them the subject of much scrutiny and claimed the lives of many service members while injuring others.

The units reportedly suffer from hard clutch engagement, causing them to lurch dangerously when the clutch disengages and then re-engages. It’s unclear whether this happened in Japan, causing the aircraft to flip over and burst into flames in the air, according to eyewitness accounts, but the recent accident isn’t the only one currently under investigation.

In August, an Osprey crash killed three US Marines and injured eight others in Australia. Then, last summer, another Osprey went down in California, killing all five Marines onboard.

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