V-22 Osprey Fleet to Resume Flights After Japan Crash Investigation

The V-22 Osprey fleet, grounded following a fatal crash off the coast of Japan, is set to be ungrounded more than three months after the incident. The crash, which occurred during a routine training flight in November 2023, claimed the lives of eight crew members. The aircraft involved in the crash was part of the United States' Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey fleet. This fleet has suffered 16 hull losses, including two fatal crashes in 2023. The grounding order affected the entire fleet, except for limited Marine Corps flights in emergencies.


The incident led to a congressional oversight committee launching an investigation into the V-22 Osprey program. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is expected to lift its flight ban on the V-22 Osprey as early as next week. Week This decision was briefed to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin. The issue that led to the grounding involved the aircraft's rudder pedals. During the landing rollout of UAL Flight 1539, the rudder pedals did not respond to the "normal" application of foot pressure while the pilots were attempting to maintain the runway centerline. Despite this, the plane was able to taxi safely to the gate at Newark Airport.

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Following the incident, United conducted a test flight and was able to duplicate the reported rudder system malfunction identified during the incident on the same plane. Post-incident inspection found no obvious malfunctions. After the removal of the rudder system components, United conducted a second flight test and found the rudder controls operated normally.

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The ungrounding of the V-22 Osprey fleet marks a significant step towards resuming normal operations. However, the investigations into the fatal crashes continue, aiming to prevent similar incidents in the future. 

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