US military lifts grounding of V-22 Osprey fleet

U.S. Navy photo

Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has announced that the V-22 Osprey’s grounding was lifted on March 8, 2024.

Since early December 2023, the entire fleet of tiltrotor aircraft had been grounded due to two fatal crashes. The first incident happened on August 27, 2023, during a military exercise in Northern Australia, resulting in the death of three US Marine Corps service members. The second crash, which occurred on November 29, 2023, off the coast of Yakushima Island in southwestern Japan, claimed the lives of eight US Marines.

Preliminary investigations into the crash in Japan indicated that a V-22 component had suffered a material failure, leading to the grounding by the US Air Force Special Operations Command, the US Navy, and the US Marine Corps on December 6, 2023. This period allowed for a comprehensive review of the mishap and the implementation of risk mitigation measures to ensure the safe return of the V-22 to flight operations.

“The US Navy, US Marine Corps, and US Air Force will each execute their return to flight plans according to service specific guidelines,” NAVAIR said in a statement. “The safety of our pilots, aircrew and surrounding communities remains of paramount importance.”

Previously, NAVAIR reported that the Japanese Ground Self-Defense Force (JGSDF), which also operates a small number of MV-22 aircraft, would be informed of the plans concerning the return to flight operations.

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