2 Marine Corps Ospreys Diverted After ‘Cockpit Warning’ Warnings Pressure Touchdown in Japan

Inside two hours of one another, two Marine V-22 Ospreys diverted Thursday on account of “cockpit warning indications” within the plane whereas flying close to Japan’s southwestern island chain.

The plane landed safely, in response to the service, and no accidents or fatalities have been reported by the Marine Corps on Thursday.

Upkeep groups are evaluating the Ospreys — which landed on islands greater than 400 miles aside — and the plane have been to return to Futenma Air Station on Okinawa as soon as deemed prepared for flight. Outdoors of the warning indicators, the Marine Corps didn’t say what particular concern precipitated the flights to divert.

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“Working [​​III Marine Expeditionary Force] plane safely and successfully is a high precedence,” Maj. Rob Martins, a spokesperson for the first Marine Plane Wing on Okinawa, advised Navy.com on Thursday.

One plane diverted at roughly 1:45 p.m. native time and landed at Amami Airfield, which is on an island about 200 miles southwest of mainland Japan. The opposite plane, which was flying alongside one other V-22 Osprey, obtained the same “cockpit warning indication” two hours later and landed at Japan’s Ishigaki Airport, which is close to the east coast of Taiwan.

The flight diversions come two weeks after a V-22 Osprey crashed throughout a routine multinational coaching occasion in Australia, killing each pilots and the flight’s crew chief. Within the wake of the crash, Performing Marine Corps Commandant Gen. Eric Smith ordered a service-wide security evaluate.

The protection evaluate additionally got here days after a Marine Corps F/A-18D Hornet crashed in southern California, killing the one pilot onboard. In complete, 4 Marines died on account of flight mishaps within the month of August.

Navy.com requested the Marine Corps whether or not pilots are working with an abundance of warning following the evaluate and the lethal Osprey incident, during which 20 different Marines survived the crash off the Tiwi Islands north of Australia.

“From right here, I might not say something has modified in that regard,” Capt. Alyssa Myers, an aviation spokesperson for Marine Headquarters, mentioned Friday. “They are not being overly cautious.”

“They’re persevering with to fly the best way they have been educated to — to maintain their crew secure and themselves secure,” she added.

The Osprey is the Marine Corps’ major assault troop transport. It’s also utilized by the Navy and Air Pressure, although the lion’s share of the V-22 fleet is owned by the Marine Corps for expeditionary operations that require fast supply of Marines from ship to shore.

Whereas the Osprey has claimed the lives of greater than 50 service members for the reason that Nineties, it has fewer mishaps per 100,000 flight hours in comparison with different plane, in response to obtainable security information. Nonetheless, that information is outdated by at the very least 5 years.

A clutch concern within the Osprey has precipitated concern for greater than a decade. In 2022, the clutch malfunction precipitated an Osprey — name signal Swift 11 — to crash, killing 5 Marines. The Marine Corps has mentioned that it has decreased incidence of the clutch malfunction considerably, however households of those that died within the crash final yr stay skeptical.

Final yr, the Marine Corps reported that one other lethal Osprey incident was attributed to pilot error. The Australian crash that occurred final month continues to be below investigation, and the reason for the crash is presently unknown.

This week, members of the first Marine Plane Wing paid tribute to the three Marines who died through the crash final month: Cpl. Spencer Collart, Capt. Eleanor LeBeau, and Maj. Tobin Lewis.

“The memorial service was a tribute to their valor,” the unit’s submit on social media mentioned, “and a reminder that their legacy will reside on in our hearts without end.”

— Drew F. Lawrence could be reached at drew.lawrence@navy.com. Observe him on Twitter @df_lawrence.

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