The Marine Corpsí aviation safety records and standards are publicly available at the Naval Safety Center website. The mishap rate that the Marine Corps has used publicly for the MV-22 follows Naval Safety Center standards that are applied universally across all type/model/series in the Navy and Marine Corps inventory. Those records bear out that the MV-22 has the lowest Class A flight mishap rate of any tactical rotorcraft in the Marine Corps fleet over the 10 years 2001-2011. The Marine Corps does not include CV-22 mishap rates when talking about the MV-22 Osprey.
Since achieving IOC in 2007, by late 2011 the MV-22 had made 3 deployments to Iraq, 4 deployments with Marine Expeditionary Units, and is currently on the fourth deployment to Afghanistan. During those deployments it has flown over 18,000 hours in combat, carried over 129,000 personnel and over 5.7 million pounds of cargo.
- 11 June 1991 -- An Osprey crashed three minutes into its maiden demonstration flight at a Boeing helicopter flight test center in Wilmington, DE. There were no serious injuries in the crash, which was blamed on gyro wiring problems. Two crew members safely ejected, and the aircraft was badly damaged the accident.
- 20 July 1992 -- Seven crewmembers lost their lives when a prototype of the V-22 Osprey fell into waters off the Quantico, VA, Marine Corps Air Station. The crash occurred after an engine caught fire as the aircraft was completing a 700-mile non-stop flight from Eglin Air Force Base. mechanical failure was found to have triggered a fire that disabled an engine. The identified design deficiencies were corrected and incorporated in all production aircraft.
- 08 April 2000 -- An MV-22 crashed during a noncombatant evacuation evaluation mission. The crash claimed 19 lives -- the deadliest air disaster for the Marines since 22 died in a helicopter crash in 1989. The Osprey was one of four flying from Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz. It crashed at Marana Airport near Tucson. The mishap aircraft was one of five production aircraft delivered to the Marine Corps for operational use. Officials said that an examination of data did not indicate any mechanical or software failures. In the last seconds of its flight, the mishap aircraft was in a high rate of descent at a relatively low forward airspeed. These characteristics can lead to a condition known as power settling (or vortex ring state) which can result in a loss of lift on the rotor system. Power settling is a phenomenon common to helicopter flight. The primary cause of the crash was the pilot descended too quickly -- 250 percent the acceptable rate.
- 11 December 2000 -- An MV-22 Osprey crashed in North Carolina during a night training mission. Four Marines were killed when the MV-22 crashed in a remote wooded area about 10 miles outside Jacksonville. The crash was the fourth accident involving the tilt-rotor aircraft since 1991. The Navy and Marine Corps grounded all MV-22 Osprey flights until further notice. The accident investigation concluded that a leak in a chafed hydraulic line, coupled with a software glitch, had caused the crash. The software problem contributed to the aircraft going out of control, rather than compensating for the hydraulic leak.
Following the two crashes in 2000, the Navy restructured the V-22 program. New, improved aircraft capabilities were incorporated in block upgrades. The Block A aircraft was intended for use in a training unit; this configuration incorporated modifications to address recommendations from the two mishap investigations and DOT&Eís earlier report. Some capabilities were re-designated as threshold requirements for future MV-22 Block B aircraft. MV-22 Block B was the first configuration procured for deployment and underwent additional testing.
- On 09 April 2011 a CV-22B aircraft, tail number (T/N)06-0031, crashed near Qalat, Afghanistan, in the first combat loss of a V-22. The CV-22B impacted the ground atapproximately 75 knots ground speed (KGS) at approximately 0039L during a mission toinfiltrate a team near Qalat, Afghanistan. The Mishap Pilot (MP), Mishap Flight Engineer (MFE) and two passengers were killed in the mishap. The Mishap Copilot (MCP), while still strapped into his seat, fell out of the aircraft, sustaining injuries to his spine and leg. The flight engineer in the rear of the aircraft, serving as the Mishap Tail Scanner (MTS), suffered life threatening injuries to his arm, spine, and legs. The remaining 14 passengers sustained various degrees of injuries. The aircraft was severely damaged. The loss was valued at $87,000,000.00 for the aircraft and $142,911.36 in crew equipment and ammunition.
The investigation ruled out multiple causes including: enemy action, brownout, vortex ring state, mid-air collision, loss of hydraulic system, electricalfailure, drive shaft failure, swashplate actuator mount failure, flight control failure, thrust control-lever (TCL) rigging, avionics failure, and crew physiological events. A preponderanceof the evidence indicated that ten factors substantially contributed to this mishap: Inadequate weather planning; Poorly executed low visibility approach (LVA); Tailwind; Challenging visual environment; Task saturation; Distraction; Negative transfer [inapropriate previously learned behavior]; Pressing [pushing beyond reasonable limits]; Unanticipated high rate of descent; Engine power loss [one or both of the engines was degraded below acceptable standards].
- On 11 April 2012 two 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Marines died and two were severely injured when an MV-22 Osprey crashed in a Royal Moroccan military training area southwest of Agadir, Morocco, while participating in bilateral Exercise African Lion.
- On 13 June 2012 a CV-22 aircraft assigned to the 1st Special Operations Wing crashed at approximately 6:45 p.m. on the Eglin Range, north of Navarre, Florida. Five crew were injured and taken to local area hospitals. Two crew members were taken by ambulance, while the other 3 were taken via air. The extent of their injuries was not immediately known. The mishap occurred during a routine training mission.
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