Marines train to land Osprey in rough terrain
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION FUTENMA, OKINAWA, Japan -- Marines with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, Marine Aircraft Group 36, executed confined aerial landings and flight instrument training May 6 on Kadena Air Base and Marine Corps Air Station Futenma.
The squadron is with MAG-36, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, III Marine Expeditionary Force.
Confined aerial landings and flight instrument training are some of the most important skills that an MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft crew must master, according to Lance Cpl. Branden I. Mangus, a tiltrotor crew chief with the squadron. Confined aerial landings give the crew experience with landing in unfamiliar or limited-space landing zones.
During flight instrument training, pilots fly using only their instruments and directions given by air traffic control towers. The training ensures the crew’s takeoff and landing procedures remain efficient even during inclement weather, when visibility may be limited.
After arriving at KAB, the crew executed five confined aerial landings and one instrument pattern, and then flew back to MCAS Futenma to perform two more landings on the runway.
“Confined aerial landings helped us when we went to Australia last year because we practiced over and over,” said Mangus, a Canton, Ga., native. “That helped us land in zones that we weren’t used to.”
This training is conducted frequently to give the crew the skills needed to operate in any environment, according to Mangus. VMM-265 flies four to five days a week and conducts various training exercises, and confined aerial landings are highly prioritized.
“Whenever we have an opportunity to do some of our own training, we’re doing confined aerial landings,” said Capt. Ivan C. Morin, an Osprey pilot with the squadron.
The crew recently put this training to use when VMM-265 was attached to the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit.
“We happened to be in the vicinity of the ferry that sunk (near the Republic of) Korea, so we did some search and rescue,” said Morin, a Houston, Texas, native.
The training enhanced the crew’s ability to react quickly, giving them the confidence to handle difficult situations efficiently, according to Morin.
“Landing is the most critical phase of flight,” said Morin. “When we need to land, whether it’s to drop off troops or cargo, we want to get it right the first time.”