(NationalUSNews.com) – Following an Osprey crash last week, the United States Air Force is grounding Osprey CV-22 aircraft due to concerns about an equipment malfunction. The crash that sparked the fleet-grounding occurred near the coast of Japan and resulted in the deaths of eight United States airmen. Lieutenant General Tony Bauernfeind, who serves as the Air Force’s Special Operations Command commander, announced his decision to ground Osprey aircraft after an investigation indicated an equipment failure as the cause of the crash.
According to Bauernfeind, the grounding will provide enough time for the Air Force to conclude an extensive investigation into the crash and ensure the safety of Osprey CV-22 aircraft before they return to standard operations. Bauernfeind also confirmed the exact cause of the crash isn’t known yet. The Air Force decided to ground Osprey just days after Japanese officials requested the United States ground its aircraft and conduct inspections to ensure safety.
The Osprey crashed during a training flight in late November, with several eyewitnesses seeing the events leading to the tragic deaths. According to eyewitnesses, the aircraft rolled over and erupted into flames, then crashed into the ocean. The tragic crash is the latest in a string of critical Osprey failures for the United States military, causing concerns about the aircraft being unsafe for active service.
In August, an Osprey crashed in Australia and killed three marines on board. In June 2022, an Osprey crashed in California and killed five marines traveling in the aircraft. Yet another incident occurred in Norway during a NATO training exercise, causing the deaths of four United States troops. Despite the Osprey crashes, the United States only grounded CV-22s since the aircraft involved in the crash off the Japanese coast was a CV-22. Other Osprey aircraft, including the models involved in the aforementioned crashes, are still active.
Following the crash, the Air Force conducted an intensive search off the coast of Japan, hoping to recover the airmen’s remains and determine a potential cause of the accident. After almost a week, divers recovered only three airmen’s remains, and each service member on board the Osprey CV-22 was identified. Authorities are still searching for the others’ remains and believe that the crash produced no survivors. The searchers will also focus on recollecting the debris of the CV-22 to examine the aircraft further for any potential defects or material failures.
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