October 4, 2022
Air Force, Marines have different opinions on tilt-rotor aircraft safety concerns

The Air Force and the Marines are staking out different positions on whether it’s safe for their crews to fly the Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft, known as the CV-22 in the Air Force and the MV-22 in the Marine Corps.

Lt. Gen. Jim Slife, commander of Air Force Special Operations Command, ordered a “safety standdown” of their CV-22s on Tuesday after four “safety incidents” involving potentially dangerous issues with the clutch — including two incidents in the past six weeks.

“The (Air Force Special Operations Command) staff will work with the Joint Program Office and industry partners to fully understand this issue and develop risk control measures to mitigate the likelihood of catastrophic outcomes,” the Air Force said in a statement to The Washington Times.

The Marine Corps said it has known about the clutch issue since 2010, and Marines haven’t had a problem with it, even after accumulating more than 533,000 flight hours in the MV-22.

“The Marine Corps continually processes hazards and safety concerns and implements risk mitigation for all known and existing hazards. We have trained our pilots to react with the appropriate emergency control measures should they arise during flight,” the Marine Corps said in a statement.

But the Marines said they aren’t ignoring safety concerns over the clutch. They “remain engaged” with military and industry officials to “resolve the issue at the root cause.”

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