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Pentagon To End Months-Long Stand-Down Of Osprey Aircraft Grounded After Series Of Deadly Accidents

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has endorsed a plan to lift a months-long grounding of the V-22 Osprey, the Associated Press reported Friday, citing U.S. officials.

Representatives of the military that operates the controversial tiltrotor plane announced plans to return it to service in a safe and methodical manner at a meeting at the Pentagon on Friday, according to the Associated Press. reportsaid the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss plans that have not yet been made public. Naval Air Systems Command, which grounded the Osprey in December after a series of deadly crashes nearby, plans to lift the ban as soon as next week, allowing the military to carry out these plans. be.

Naval Air Systems Command did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Daily Caller News Foundation. A Pentagon spokesperson said the department had no updated information to share as of press time. (Related: National Guard base helicopter after fatal crash)

Navy and Air Force military leaders met with Austin on Friday morning to discuss next steps, officials told The Associated Press.

A massive crash off the coast of southern Japan on November 29, which killed eight Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) aviators, was the last resort to ground the aircraft. It was the latest in a series of alarming and fatal accidents.

Although Austin does not have the authority to ground the aircraft, the Secretary of Defense requested a personal briefing as Naval Air Systems Command considers returning the Osprey to flight due to serious safety concerns surrounding the ship, AP said. The news agency reported. The Air Force, Navy, Marine Corps, and partner nations operate versions of his V-22 Osprey tiltrotor primarily for transportation and cargo delivery.

Officials told The Associated Press that confidence in Austin's plan was considered a key factor in the decision to resume operations.

The Air Force has identified a material defect, but has not yet determined why the part failed. according to From a press release on February 20th.

In the months since the grounding, maintenance departments have found ways to mitigate the effects of known material failures, including conducting additional safety briefings and deploying more conservative procedures for operating the aircraft, the Associated Press reports. He has been working towards this goal.

According to the Associated Press, the United States plans to share its plans with Japan, the only country in the world to operate the Osprey. Japan has grounded its Ospreys until more information is available about the cause of the AFSOC crash.

U.S. Air Force Academy, Colorado – A CV-22 Osprey takes off from U.S. Air Force Academy Air Station during an incentive flight, Nov. 2, 2019. Photo by Trevor Cokley, U.S. Air Force Academy/DVIDS

The Osprey is a hybrid aircraft that can take off and land vertically like a helicopter, but can fly forward at high speeds like an airplane.

The MV-22, a type of Osprey operated by the Marines, has a known problem with a malfunctioning clutch engagement, which likely contributed to several fatal crashes over the past decade. .Marines completed formal command investigation An accident occurred in June 2022 with five Marines on board. MV-22 Osprey crashed during training in the California desert in April 2023, revealing potential problems.

In August, an MV-22 crashed in Australia, killing at least three of the 23 people on board and injuring others.

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