V-22 Ospreys Return to Limited Flight Operations

After a tragic crash in Japan last year that killed eight airmen, the Air Force, Marine Corps, and Navy V-22 Ospreys resumed flights in early March. Despite the green light, significant restrictions remain in place, limiting the aircraft to flying within 30 minutes of a suitable airfield. This restriction, mandated by the V-22 Joint Program Office, has forced services like the Navy to rely on older aircraft for some missions.

Naval Air Forces spokesperson Cmdr. Beth Teach confirmed the restriction, which has led the Navy to continue using the aging C-2A Greyhound fleet. The Marine Corps is working to return its 17 MV-22 squadrons to full capability through a phased approach focused on regaining basic flight proficiency and training.

The Joint Program Office is investigating the mechanical failure that caused the deadly crash and is working on long-term solutions, including addressing a recurring clutch issue known as “hard clutch engagement.” This problem has contributed to several incidents over the years. The office is testing a new prototype component to fix this issue.

Meanwhile, V-22 Ospreys continue to operate globally, albeit with restrictions, as efforts are made to extend the aircraft’s operational lifespan until at least 2055.

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