Air Force Special Operations Command justifies CV-22 Osprey aircraft over safety concerns: report

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Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) has grounded all 52 of its CV-22 Ospreys until further notice due to an “increased number of security incidents” involving an incident with the aircraft’s clutch , according to a report.

The decision on the CV-22 Osprey — an advanced tiltrotor aircraft that can take off vertically — comes after two security incidents in the past six weeks and four in total since 2017, the carrier told Breaking Defense. word of AFSOC, Lt. Col. Becky Heyse.

“The safety of our Airmen is of the utmost importance, therefore no CV-22 AFSOC will fly until we determine the cause of the hard clutch engagements and risk control measures are put in place,” she told the digital magazine.

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A US Air Force Bell Boeing CV-22 Osprey military tiltrotor aircraft takes off for an evening training flight from RAF Mildenhall in Suffolk, England in July 2020.
(Jon Hobley/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

AFSOC told the website that the clutch inside a gearbox connecting one of the plane’s two engines to its rotors slips, causing power to transfer to the other in the frame. a design feature to keep the airplane airborne in the event of a partial engine. failure.

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In most cases, according to Breaking Defense, the initial clutch will re-engage and power will return to the first engine, but Heyse said that “if the crew were unable to control the aircraft when the incident product, it could lead to loss of control and the uncontrolled landing of the aircraft.”

A US Air Force CV-22 Osprey military tiltrotor aircraft is seen in Portland, England in March.

A US Air Force CV-22 Osprey military tiltrotor aircraft is seen in Portland, England in March.
(Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)

But so far, she says, the incidents have caused no injuries or deaths “thanks in large part to the skill and professionalism of our air commandos operating the CV-22.”

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“In coordination with the Joint Program Office, AFSOC was unable to gather enough technical data analysis to accurately identify the root cause, so it is unclear if it is mechanical , design, software, or a combination thereof,” Heyse also told Breaking Defense.

Two US Air Force CV-22 Osprey military tiltrotor aircraft fly over Kyiv, Ukraine during aerial exercises in March 2020.

Two US Air Force CV-22 Osprey military tiltrotor aircraft fly over Kyiv, Ukraine during aerial exercises in March 2020.
(Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

The website reports that after incidents, in many cases, gearboxes and engines need to be replaced – damage that costs more than $2.5 million to repair.

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