Five Marines die in Southern California Osprey crash, US
Five Marines have been confirmed dead following a Wednesday, 8 June 2022, MV-22B Osprey crash in a remote training area of California, US. The aircraft belonged to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing based at Camp Pendleton, California. It went down at 12h25pm during training, said Major Mason Englehart, spokesman for the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, an aviation unit headquartered at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, San Diego, about 115 miles west of the crash site near the community of Glamis, California.
The victims, based at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton, were all assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 364, Marine Aircraft Group 39 and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, according to a release from Major Mason Englehart of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. Their names are as follows:
The V-22 Osprey is a tilt-rotor aircraft with two propellers that deploy vertically like a helicopter, allowing it to hover. The rotors can also pivot and deploy forward like a twin-engine prop plane, allowing it to cruise at higher speeds. But that ability came after years of testing and years of crashes.
Wednesday's crash of an MV-22 (the Marine Corps version of the V-22) that killed five Marines, was the latest. Since the Osprey's operational history beginning in 1991, 51 people have been killed in crashes of that aircraft around the world.
The deadliest crash happened in 2000 near Marana. An Osprey was flying in formation from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma when it suddenly crashed, killing all 19 Marines on board. That crash led to the Osprey being grounded for a time before being allowed to fly again.
Former crash investigator Anthony Brickhouse, who teaches Aircraft Accident Investigation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida, said those past crashes will be part of the investigation. "We always go back and we look at the history of aircraft," Brickhouse said. "And obviously the V-22 has had some mishaps in the past that have, unfortunately, killed several service members and this is just the latest.”
Maj Gen Bradford J Gering, commanding general of 3rd MAW, said in a Thursday statement, “We mourn the loss of our Marines in this tragic mishap. Our hearts go out to their families and friends as they cope with this tragedy.”
An investigation into the incident has started, the Marine Corps confirmed in a Thursday press release. Equipment recovery efforts are underway. “While military service is inherently dangerous, the loss of life is always difficult,” 1st Lt. Duane Kampa said in Thursday’s press release. “3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is committed to providing support to the families, friends and fellow service members of the fallen Marines.”
Sources: The Associated Press, Marine Corps Times