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Marines defend decision to keep flying Ospreys after USAF spec. ops grounds theirs, says their pilots are more trained

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The US Marine Corps will not be following the US Air Force’s lead on grounding the V-22 Osprey series of tiltrotor, claiming they don’t have the same issues.

The grounding is over a clutch issue, something that has been known about for around 12 years.

While the matter was serious enough for USAF Special Operations Command (AFSOC) to ground their 52 Ospreys on Tuesday, the Corps is not as concerned.

Marine Corps spokesman Maj. Jim Stenger stated that Marines are trained how to respond when such issues occur, and therefore can remain operational.

According to Defense News, the issue involves “the clutch, which connects the propeller’s rotor gear box to its engine, slips. That causes the Osprey to transfer the power load to the other engine almost instantaneously so the aircraft can keep from crashing. The original gear box’s clutch then reengages, the power load transfers back in a span of milliseconds and the large transfer of torque causes the Osprey to lurch.”

The USAF is not taking its chances, as commander Lt. Gen. Jim Slife did not feel comfortable flying them and would rather the issue be addressed than simply worked around.

The USMC, on the other hand, believes that their 296 Ospreys can be managed with training until a solution is found.

The Corps has accrued over 533,000 flight hours in the ‘22s.

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