Home News Marine Corps says fatal MV-22 Osprey crash was due to pilot error

Marine Corps says fatal MV-22 Osprey crash was due to pilot error

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An MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft lands on a landing zone during free-fall parachute training at Ie Shima Training Facility, Okinawa, Japan, Aug. 29, 2018. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Alexis B. Betances/Released)

The fatal MV-22 Osprey crash that occurred in Norway earlier this year was a case of pilot error, according to an investigative board.

The crash, which took place in March and took the lives of four US Marines flying under the callsign “Ghost 31,” was reportedly the result of “a series of maneuvers conducted at a low altitude through the Gråtådalen Valley that exceeded the maximum angle-of-bank for an MV22B Osprey.”

As a result, the 2nd Marine Air Wing reported in a statement, the Osprey lost altitude, airspeed, and room to turn safely.

“The investigating authorities also examined five other factors to determine if they contributed to the mishap: weather and environmental factors, procedures for low-altitude training, errors in maintenance paperwork, inexperience in mountainous environments, and the use of recording devices,” 2nd MAW wrote in a statement. “It was determined that none of the five factors investigated were causal or contributing factors to the mishap. There are currently no recommendations for disciplinary or punitive action for any service members.”

To clarify, “pilot error” is the technical term describing a situation where the pilot’s inputs, or lack of appropriate inputs, made to the controls or systems of the aircraft were a causal factor, directly contributing to the mishap.

The four Marines killed were identified as Capt. Matthew J. Tomkiewicz, the aircraft commander; Capt. Ross A. Reynolds, the co-pilot; Gunnery Sgt. James W. Speedy, the aerial observer; and Cpl. Jacob M. Moore, the crew chief.

“Their loss continues to be felt across the Marine Corps, and our condolences remain with the family and friends of the fallen,” 2nd MAW wrote.

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