V-22 Osprey won’t return to full flight operations until mid-2025, NAVAIR says

U.S. Marine Corps photo

In response to the V-22 Osprey’s recent mishap rate, Vice Admiral Carl Chebi, Commander of the Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR), has appeared before the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability to discuss their concerns.  

“While the historical mishap rate of the V-22 has, on average, been comparable to other platforms across the [US Department of Defense], the rate of mishaps over the past two and a half years has the full attention and support of Navy, USMC and USAF leadership,” Chebi told the Committee. “During this period the V-22 program has had four mishaps that have resulted in the loss of 20 of our service members and four aircraft.” 

Two recent deadly accidents led to a global grounding of tiltrotor aircraft in early December 2023. The initial incident occurred on August 27, 2023, during a military drill in Northern Australia, resulting in the loss of three US Marine Corps service members. The second crash, which took place on November 29, 2023, near Yakushima Island in southwestern Japan, caused the death of eight US Marines. 

NAVAIR ended the formal grounding on March 8, 2024. Currently, the V-22 fleet operates under a restricted flight envelope, limiting its mission capabilities. Vice Admiral Chebi emphasized that the decision to return to flight had been made with great caution. 
 

“NAVAIR is establishing criteria for return to full unrestricted flight through engineering testing and analysis,” Chebi explained. “To reduce risk to the fleet, current flight restrictions will remain in place until these criteria are met. A return to full mission capability is not expected to occur before mid-2025.” 

Previously, NAVAIR stated that the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF) would be notified about the intention to resume flight operations, as it also has several MV-22 aircraft in operation. 

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