Investigation into crash that killed five Marines concludes

July 23, 2023
by
Robert Ayers

The Marine Corps has concluded its investigation into the aircraft crash that killed five service members last summer, the Washington Examiner reports

The V-22 Joint Program Office concluded, in a report that it released on Friday, that the crash was the result of a mechanical failure.

The office, through its investigation, ruled out the possibility that the crash was the result of the errors of the service members who were on board the aircraft.

These service members were Cpl. Nathan Carlson, 21; Capt. Nicholas Losapio, 31; Cpl. Seth Rasmuson, 21; Lance Cpl. Evan Strickland, 19; and Capt. John Sax, 33.

Background

The fatal incident that was investigated by the V-22 Joint Program Office occurred on June 8, 2022.

"Five U.S. Marines were killed when a military aircraft crashed during a training mission in Southern California," the New York Times reported at the time of the incident.

The outlet continued, "The aircraft, an MV-22B Osprey that belonged to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, crashed at about 12:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time near Glamis, California, more than 100 miles east of San Diego."

The Marine Corp. put out a statement, saying, "We mourn the loss of our Marines in this tragic mishap. our hearts go out to their families and friends as they cope with this tragedy."

Questions quickly turned to: "How did this happen?" An investigation was launched, and we now have the results.

"Catastrophic, unpreventable, and unanticipated mechanical failure"

According to the V-22 Joint Program Office, at the time of the crash, "the pilots and aircrew were conducting routine flight operations in accordance with applicable regulations."

But, at some point, the office says that "a catastrophic, unpreventable, and unanticipated mechanical failure occurred."

The Washington Examiner summarizes the failure, writing:

The cause of the mishap was a dual hard clutch engagement, which resulted in a single engine and interconnect drive system failure, and the failure resulted in a catastrophic loss of thrust on the right-hand proprotor. The subsequent degraded drivetrain caused by the dual HCE event and single engine failure “created an unrecoverable departure from controlled flight” that resulted in the crash.

The Marine Corps. is now trying to use the information gained about the crash to prevent a tragedy like this from occurring again in the future.

PMA-275 program manager Col. Brian Taylor put out a statement, saying:

Our latest research and mitigation efforts produced several new findings that significantly increased our understanding of the HCE phenomenon. While definitive root cause for all HCE events has not yet been identified, we are using this new information to implement solutions designed to reduce the likelihood of an HCE event and increase aircrew safety.

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