Osprey Down In California (UPDATED)


An MV-22 Osprey with five Marines aboard crashed in the Southern California desert just after noon on Wednesday. The Marines have confirmed the crash and reported that all five of the people onboard were killed. Authorities also denied initial reports that there was “nuclear material” on the aircraft. “We ask for the public’s patience as we work diligently with first responders and the unit involved to identify what occurred this afternoon,” the Marines said in a statement on Wednesday.

The crash happened at 12:25 p.m. near Glamis, California, near Naval Air Facility El Centro. The tiltrotor was based out of Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton and was operated by the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing. Both units are based near San Diego. 

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  1. The Osprey has been a killer since its inception and continues that tradition. So much so that congress has tried to kill it numerous times only to be thwarted by political pressure (money) from the producer and contractors. It was a really bad concept to begin with based upon the lack of engineering, hardware and software, and still is. The operating costs and downtime are among the worst in the whole military.

    • That’s just false, period. It has served the last 20 years and been an exceptional platform for which it was designed, especially in Iraz/AFG.

      Know what you’re talking about first before you say stupid stuff like this.

      • It would be interesting to have the facts about the (fatal) accident rate of the Osprey compared to other military aircraft. (Including helicopters.) Anecdotally, it seems that I hear of a lot of accidents with it.

        Maybe it’s because its accidents are always reported, the Osprey being so different. Or maybe it’s because it’s inherently a bad design? (What is its single engine performance like when in helicopter mode? Or how competent the pilot has to be to handle such an emergency?)

        • >>What is its single engine performance like when in helicopter mode?

          I imagine it’s far better than any single-engine helicopter with one engine inoperative. The V-22 can fly on one engine, the rotors are connected by a drive shaft. Either engine will turn them both. It can land in airplane mode if necessary, the blades have a designed-in break-away station just for that reason.

          • The twin Piasecki configuration depends on shafts between two rotors. (Aka Boeing Vertol today.)

            Conventional single rotor helicopters depend on tail rotor drive shaft to stay in control.

            (Coaxial rotor systems exist – Russia/USSR liked them, Kaman liked the close intermeshing concept. Good for lift, but Kaman went conventional for a successful navy helicopter because of drag.

        • I read a book written by a Ph.D. about flying helicopters. I’ve never had the desire to learn to fly a helicopter. But when I read of all the ways that a helicopter could get you into trouble – without any tell tale signs – I decided that I would NEVER learn to fly one.

          (The biggest scary thing for me was hovering in your own downdraft, which creates a vicious cycle of minimizing lift. I always think of that classic video of the Russian helicopter trying to rescue skiers in the Alps (I think) which then flipped over, slow-motion style, as it moved laterally a bit.)