The Air Force said Thursday its Osprey aircraft are still crucial to operations but will remain grounded until they're deemed safe to fly following the service's most deadly crash that killed eight airmen, as well as a long-standing mechanical issue and recent deadly Marine Corps mishaps.
The most recent crash off the coast of Japan Nov. 29 killed all crew members aboard and triggered a grounding Wednesday of all Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy V-22 Ospreys. An initial investigation after debris was fished from the ocean indicated a mechanical failure in the Air Force special operations Osprey, raising new questions about the safety of the aircraft and a mysterious clutch issue that has plagued it for over a decade.
“We remain confident that the CV-22B Osprey offers a solution to the joint force that no other capability can answer in the special operations community right now,” Capt. Amy Rasmussen, an Air Force Special Operations Command spokeswoman, told Military.com. “The CV-22 enables U.S. Special Operations Command to conduct nighttime, long-range, infiltration and exfiltration missions. Its versatility, speed and vertical-lift capabilities are not met by any other existing fixed- or rotary-wing platform.”
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The investigation into the crash in Japan is still ongoing, but the revelation that it could be a mechanical issue with the…