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HOME  > Past issues  > 2023 July 26 - August 1  > Osprey MV22s are defective and should be grounded and removed
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2023 July 26 - August 1 [US FORCES]

Osprey MV22s are defective and should be grounded and removed

July 27, 2023

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

The U.S. Marine Corps on July 21 publicized an investigation report which determines that an MV-22 Osprey crash, which occurred in California in June last year and killed all five Marines onboard, was caused by mechanical failure distinctive to this aircraft. Following the report, Japan's Defense Ministry temporarily suspended flights of Ground Self-Defense Force V-22 Ospreys. It has become clear that Osprey aircraft are structurally defective.

The report revealed that a "hard clutch engagement (HCE)" had led to the fatal crash. A mechanical problem referred to as HCE was first exposed to the public when all U.S. Air Force CV-22s stood by onshore in August 2022 after a series of HCE events.

In Japan, USMC MV-22s are deployed to the U.S. Futenma base (Ginowan City, Okinawa Pref.) and USAF CV-22s to the U.S. Yokota base (Tokyo). They can fly in airspace all over Japan. Japan's GSDF V-22s are tentatively deployed to the Kisarazu garrison (Kisarazu City, Chiba Pref.) and are to be relocated to Saga Airport (Saga Pref.).

The Japanese and U.S. governments on July 7 agreed to lower the minimum altitude from the current 150 meters to about 60 meters for USMC MV-22 low-altitude flight training exercises over Japanese mountains. The agreement ignores the Japanese Civil Aeronautics Act which sets the minimum safety altitude at 150 meters above the surface outside of densely populated areas.

Nobody knows when an uncontrollable HCE might occur. Undoubtedly, flight exercises over residential areas and low-altitude flight training exercises are dangerous. The Osprey is a defective aircraft and should be immediately grounded and removed.

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