Air Force CV-22 Osprey involved in 30 mishaps

July 30, 2012 Ryukyu Shimpo

According to documents released by the U.S. Air Force Safety Center on July 29, the Air Force CV-22 Osprey vertical take-off and landing transport aircraft was involved in at least 30 Class A to C category mishaps in the seven-year period from October 2005 to June 2012. The CV-22 is the almost same type of aircraft as the MV-22 Osprey that is scheduled to be deployed to U.S. Marine Corps Futenma Air Station. Since 2006, the MV-22 has been involved in at least 31 Class A to C category mishaps, which is again testimony to the fact that accidents involving the aircraft have been occurring relatively frequently.

The breakdown of categories of accidents involving the CV-22 is included in the documents released from the U.S. Air Force Safety Center.

Three accidents have occurred in Class A mishaps, which involve a fatality, a permanent full disability or damages worth at least two million dollars. This would seem to include the crash that occurred in Florida this June. In Class B mishaps, which involve permanent partial disability or damages worth between 500000 and two million dollars, seven mishaps have occurred. In Class C, which involves a non-fatal injury or damages worth between 50000 and 500000 dollars, 20 mishaps have occurred.

With regard to the principle causes of the accidents, problems pertaining to maintenance and management of the aircraft, such as mechanical parts falling out of place during aircraft inspections and operational problems were mentioned. The U.S. authorities calculate the accident frequency rate based on the number of Class A mishaps, and the rate for the CV-22 is 13.47, and 1.93 for the MV-22.
With regard to the difference of the accident frequency rate between the two variants of the same aircraft, the center emphasized the difference in the nature of the missions assigned to these two Osprey aircraft, explaining that the Osprey carries out training under extreme conditions due to the specific missions that each aircraft is required to engage in.

At the same time, the Okinawa Prefectural Government and the Ginowan Municipal Government requested that the Okinawa Defense Bureau release the statistical data for the accident frequency rate of all the Osprey aircraft, including the CV-22. The bureau rejected this request last August, stating, “We are not at the stage of acquiring significant data about the accident frequency rate of the CV-22 because of its extremely low total flight time.”

(English translation by T&CT, Mark Ealey)

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