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37th crash of the MV 22 Osprey

An MV-22 Osprey operating from the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) crashed in a Royal Moroccan military training area southwest of Agadir, Morocco, while participating in the bilateral Exercise African Lion. Four U.S. Marine Corps personnel were on the aircraft at the time of the incident. Two personnel died as a result of their injuries sustained in the crash. The two other personnel were severely injured in the crash and are being medically evacuated for further treatment. The MV-22 Osprey was assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 261 based at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) New River, N.C. The squadron was operating from the amphibious assault ship USS Iwo Jima (LHD 7) at the time of the incident.

The Iwo Jima Amphibious Ready Group (ARG) with the embarked 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), are participating in Exercise African Lion, a bilateral exercise conducted with Royal Moroccan military forces. The annual exercise is scheduled to be conducted April 8-17, 2012, in a designated military training area southwest of Agadir, Morocco. Exercise African Lion is a bilateral, theater security cooperation exercise led by U.S. Marine Forces Africa and is conducted annually between the U.S. military and the Kingdom of Morocco to further develop joint and combined capabilities. The exercise will focus on building capacity, capability, and interoperability in the following areas: field and aviation training, humanitarian civic assistance, amphibious landings, intelligence capacity building, and command post and peace support operations.

The cause of the incident is under investigation. This puts back in perspective the Osprey, which is very tricky aircraft to fly.The Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey is an American multi-mission, military, tiltrotor aircraft with both a vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL), and short takeoff and landing (STOL) capability. It is designed to combine the functionality of a conventional helicopter with the long-range, high-speed cruise performance of a turboprop aircraft. The V-22 originated from the United States Department of Defense Joint-service Vertical take-off/landing Experimental (JVX) aircraft program started in 1981. The team of Bell Helicopter and Boeing Helicopters was awarded a development contract in 1983 for the tiltrotor aircraft. The Bell Boeing team jointly produce the aircraft. The V-22 first flew in 1989, and began flight testing and design alterations; the complexity and difficulties of being the first tiltrotor intended for military service in the world led to many years of development.
The United States Marine Corps began crew training for the Osprey in 2000, and fielded it in 2007; it is supplementing and will eventually replace their CH-46 Sea Knights. The Osprey’s other operator, the U.S. Air Force, fielded their version of the tiltrotor in 2009. Since entering service with the U.S. Marine Corps and Air Force, the Osprey has been deployed in both combat and rescue operations over Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.


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