Crashed Osprey Crew Used
Night Vision Goggles, Infrared
by Jim Mathews
04/10/00 08:44:30 AM U.S. EDT
The crew of the U.S. Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey tiltrotor aircraft that crashed and burned Saturday in Arizona was using night vision goggles and forward-looking infrared radar during their night-time training flight, the Marines said in a prepared statement.
Military investigators began poring over the scene yesterday to try to piece together how the accident – the third in the Osprey program and the second with fatalities – might have happened. So far officials aren’t saying whether the aircraft was on fire before it crashed, though some eyewitnesses claimed to see fire before the impact at Marana Regional Airport near Tucson.
The Marines were practicing non-combatant evacuation during the Weapons and Tactics Instructor Course, but the flight was also supporting operational evaluation of the Osprey. The formal OPEVAL phase – during which military services decide whether a piece of hardware is operationally suitable – is due to conclude in June.
Up to now, the four Ospreys in the evaluation program had flown more than 800 hours, and last month the program racked up 140 hours.
The mishap aircraft was part of the Patuxent River, Md.-based Multi-service Operational Test Team, but was temporarily attached to Marine Aviation Weapons and Tactics Squadron-1 at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma, Ariz., the Marines said.
Marine Corps Air Station Yuma
Photo Of Crash Site
Copyright 2000 Aviationnow.com