Rescue Plan Set For Stranded Osprey

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Norwegian authorities have come up with a plan to return an $80 million V-22 Osprey to the U.S. Air Force while protecting a priceless piece of ecosystem. As we reported last month, the Air Force grounded its Special Forces Ospreys after slipping clutches in the complex transmission that distributes power from the engines to the rotors caused power imbalances in three aircraft. One of those Ospreys was put down in a nature preserve on an island in the northernmost part of Norway on Aug. 12. No one was injured and the aircraft is undamaged.

The tiltrotor is sunk to its gear doors in the Norwegian nature preserve, and Norway wasn’t anxious to bulldoze a path into the landing site to haul the Osprey out. So, the Norwegians are proposing building a wooden path over the natural landscape to get the aircraft close enough to the ocean that it can be plucked off the island with a crane ship. The plan is to lift the Osprey off the shore of the island intact. The Air Force is reviewing the plan, but the Norwegians want to get going. “Weather and wind in Norway this time of the year can change quite quickly, and is an important factor to consider,” Norwegian Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Elvind Byre said. “Hopefully we will be able to start the operation this weekend.”

Russ Niles
Russ Niles is Editor-in-Chief of AVweb. He has been a pilot for 30 years and joined AVweb 22 years ago. He and his wife Marni live in southern British Columbia where they also operate a small winery.

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10 COMMENTS

  1. An Osprey flew over my house yesterday. We see them often here in NC. Seems the ones here are just fine.

    • From what I’ve read, the navy/marine corps have not grounded their fleet. Plus they can be flown after the clutch inspections are done.

  2. We had an Osprey grounded here at KSCR for a few days recently while they appeared to be working on one of the rotors. They even brought another Osprey to help, although mostly they worked from a pickup truck. I don’t know what was wrong with it, but this article makes me wonder. They occasionally practice approaches and landings here, but have never stopped for any reason that I am aware.

  3. I hear, more than see, V-22’s doing night training ops at KTTA when I’m working late. Very distinctive sound. It would be a little tricky, but a pair of S-64’s could sling-load on a V-22 engine each. Those guys do “tricky” all the time. 🙂

    • I think people would be amazed at the skills our military has mastered as part of getting the job done.

  4. Where is the nearest CH-53? If they empty the fuel tanks it should be under the max lift capacity of a CH-53.

  5. I assume that it was landed there due to the clutch problem, so a ferry flight is out of the question. What about fixing it on site and then flying it out?

  6. These things are maintenance hogs and they would not have made an emergency landing there unless there was a serious problem. So there is no telling what all is now wrong or out of spec with this unit. The Osprey is a concept that was put into operation way before the engineering and materials were up to the task. Congress cancelled the thing several time due to numerous reasons including crew deaths, costs, and because the it was just too tempermental and undependable. It still is. Worse than the B1-B if that is possible.

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