The V-22 Osprey is the only aircraft that I would refuse to fly on. If a helicopter is a group of parts trying to shake itself apart, these things are worse. How many of these things has to crash before someone up high decides the design is just too complicated for routine military maintenance and flight and shuts it down?
I have no quarrel with the need for an airplane that can fulfil the MISSION of the V-22 … my beef is that the designs — throughout the years … XC-124, XV-15, et al — necessary to provide a viable machine are just too complicated.
I’m sure someone will chime in and say “Wait until we know what happened.” I don’t need to wait. These things are dangerous. The number of crashes and other incidents speak for themselves.
I was at Edwards AFB during the testing of the XV-15 and that thing scared a lot of people. There were a lot of airplanes built to meet a mission requirement that were deemed too complicated, too dangerous or too something; it’s time to put this thing into that box, too.
During flight testing between 1991 and 2000, 30 people died in four crashes. After becoming operational in 2007, 12 more crashes plus other accidents and incidents have killed 33 more people, 13 of them in the last two years. The operational advantage of such a design is far outweighed by the crash and fatality history. Time to send these things to Tucson.
Here’s a comparison of the fatality rates per 100,000 flight hours, from high to low, for the V-22 Osprey, and other aircraft:
Aircraft (Fatality Rate Per 100,000 flt hrs}
V-22 Osprey (3.16)
CH-46 Sea Knight (1999-2009) (0.54)
CH-46 Sea Knight (2000-2019) (0.27)
The V-22’s fatality rate is higher than that of other helicopters in its class, including the CH-46 Sea Knight. It is also higher than that of fixed-wing aircraft such as the F-16. This is likely due to the V-22’s unique combination of helicopter and fixed-wing capabilities, and mission.
The fatality rates are averages so the actual fatality rate for any given aircraft can vary depending on a number of factors, such as the specific type of operations being conducted, the experience of the pilots, and the maintenance of the aircraft.
Despite its higher fatality rate, the V-22 is categorized as a valuable asset for the U.S. military. In the long term, according to military media postings, the military is planning to upgrade the V-22 with new engines and avionics. These upgrades will improve the aircraft’s performance, range, and reliability. Is it a keeper?
Collings Foundation Ends Flights
Very sad. I used to work right across the highway from Moffett Federal Airfield in Mountain View, CA, which was a regular stop for the Collings Foundation tours. Every day for a week, I’d hear the sound of the big four-engine bombers and the B-25 and P-51 as they flew overhead. I was fortunate to fly on the B-24, and it was a great experience.
Seeing and hearing these planes in the air is entirely different from seeing them static in a museum.
It’s very disappointing that poor maintenance and lax oversight led to the tragedy of Nine-O-Nine, which has now doomed what was a great living history experience.
Ifeel it is worth while to keep a few antiques flying and demonstratable, but the huge cost to keep them all flying is unmanageable and it has been shown that demo rides are not the way to fund them.
In the future I will be happy to help support keeping a few flying but not all. Seeing them in the air is the best way to understand history and the great level of technology and personal sacrifice of which they are examples.
I am sorry to see them stop flying especially as it was fairly obvious that they did not have the resources to do a good job of dealing with an old aging aircraft. So let’s keep a few flying and in good condition and use the rest for static display, spares etc. Not every museum or collector needs to have an example of every important antique aircraft in order to maintain a good flying record of our history.
NTSB Hearing On Pilot Mental Health
Depression, anxiety, and panic attacks are not signs of weakness. They are signs of being too strong for too long.
It’s time to move past the stigma of mental health issues and realize that in such a demanding field depression can be an occupational hazard that needs serious consideration. We are only beginning to look into treatment and ways to respond to pilots suffering from mental health conditions, but we need to move more towards prevention.
We now live in a world where almost everyone should be seeing a therapist on a regular basis, not to treat issues, but to head them off before they become severe. Depression does not happen overnight. It is a slow building condition that one day takes you by surprise, despite the facts that signs have been present all along. If we can abandon the stigma around depression and acknowledge the value of preventive therapy we can be a happier and healthier society.