Osprey crash blamed on pilot error
MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP BUTLER, Okinawa, Japan – On September 11, 2017, III Marine Expeditionary Force released the findings of the aircraft mishap command investigation for the December 13, 2016, intentional water landing of an MV-22 Osprey off the northern coast of Okinawa, Japan. The investigation determined, based on available evidence, that the cause of the mishap was pilot error.
During a regularly scheduled training mission, the MV-22’s right propeller made contact with another aircraft’s refueling basket and hose during refueling operations approximately 30 kilometers off the coast of Okinawa. As a result of damage to the propeller, the pilots made the determination to not fly the aircraft over a populated area and conducted an emergency controlled water landing, under powered flight, approximately two miles southeast of Higashi. The pilot and aircrew were rescued immediately following this incident.
“I want to again thank the Japan Coast Guard, Okinawan Police and the U.S. Air Force 33rd and 31st Rescue Squadrons for their support and assistance during this incident,” said the Commanding General of III Marine Expeditionary Force, Lt Gen. Lawrence D. Nicholson, “This was a regrettable incident but one that could have been much worse without the quick reaction of the crew and the support of our Okinawan and Air Force partners. We will continue safe flight operations of the MV-22 and all of our aircraft in support of our Alliance with Japan.”
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