A rescue operation is underway off the eastern coast of Australia where a Marine MV-22B Osprey has crashed. A US defense official told Fox News that 26 service members were on board. 23 have been rescued. The recovery effort for the three missing airmen. No word yet on what caused the crash.
— III MEF Marines (@IIIMEF) August 5, 2017
“Ship’s small boats and aircraft from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group are conducting the search and rescue operations,” a III Marine Expeditionary Force news release says.
The crash of the Osprey is not surprising to its critics. The plane, which takes off vertically, has been controversial since its inception. During early testing, crashes resulted in 30 casualties. Since the plane entered service, there have been numerous incidents involving the plane.
This crash comes just a few weeks after a Marine KC-130T went down in Mississippi. No one on that flight survived. The crash on July 10th, killed 15 Marines and one sailor. After the crash, all of the Marine’s KC-130Ts were grounded.
“The investigation into the mishap is still ongoing, and its findings will not be made public until it is complete,” Maj. Andrew Aranda, a spokesman for U.S. Marine Corps Forces Reserve noted Friday. “No issues about the other aircraft have been brought to our attention.”
The Marines and the Navy have both been facing scrutiny for their failing aircraft. Reports suggest that up to 70 percent of the Marines’ aircraft are grounded because of maintenance issues, or becasue of a shortage of parts for regular maintenance.