Consecutive plane crashes haunt US military; Alarmed Congress mulls ‘tightening demands’
The US Congress is considering tightening the Pentagon’s aviation security requirements after a series of crashes that have claimed several lives in recent weeks. Congress wants the Pentagon to look more closely at military aircraft crashes under the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023.
On June 9, 2022, a Sikorsky MH-60S Seahawk helicopter crashed at Naval Air Field El Centro, California at approximately 6 p.m.
The helicopter, which was part of Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 3 (HSC-3) based at Naval Air Station North Island in San Diego, had four crew members on board, according to the Navy.
Fortunately, all four were found alive. “One of the crew sustained non-life-threatening injuries and was transported to a local hospital,” according to a Navy statement.
MH-60S helicopters are used by the United States Navy for vertical replenishment, combat search and rescue, special warfare support, and airborne mine countermeasures, among other roles.
The unfortunate helicopter crash was reported just a day after the MV-22 Osprey descended more than 40 miles from NAF El Centro, killing all five crew.
The area where the crash occurred is a vital training ground for Navy and Navy aircraft, located between MCAS Yuma in Arizona and various facilities in San Diego.
The Osprey aircraft was assigned to Marine Aircraft Group 39 at Camp Pendleton and was a member of the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing based at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego, according to reports.
The MV-22B Osprey crashed in Imperial County, about 30 miles north of the US-Mexico border, around 12:25 p.m. local time.
The V-22 Osprey is a multirole combat aircraft that combines the vertical performance of a helicopter with the speed and range of a fixed-wing aircraft using tiltrotor technology. It can take off, land and hover like a helicopter with its rotors in a vertical position.
A plane belonging to @3rdmaw crashed near Glamis, California. Military and civilian first responders are on site.
Contrary to rumors on social media, there was no nuclear material on board the plane. More information will be available as we receive it.
— US Marines (@USMC) June 8, 2022
“We mourn the loss of our Marines in this tragic misadventure. Our hearts go out to their families and friends as they deal with this tragedy,” 3rd MAW Commanding General Maj. Gen. Bradford K Gering said. in a press release.
Meanwhile, apart from these two crashes that happened in the same area and within days of each other, there were other incidents of plane crashes that shook the US military. Calls are therefore growing louder for the US Congress to take decisive action for the safety of military aviation.
The Office of Under Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks “submitted an interim response to the National Military Aviation Safety Commission Implementation Plan in late March/early April 2022, and is actively working on the full response. , which will likely be sent to Congress by the end of August,” according to a statement released by the Pentagon on June 8, Defense One reported.
Previously, a Taiwanese F-16 had to make an emergency landing at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, Hawaii, due to a landing gear malfunction. While the pilot escaped unscathed, it was the third time an F-16’s nose gear had collapsed on landing in less than a month.
According to the Hawaii Department of Transportation, the F-16A’s nose landing gear failed to deploy during the approach, resulting in a “hard landing” (DOT). The nose of the plane landed on the tarmac.
The F-16A pilot used the jet’s tailhook in an attempt to bring the plane to a halt, which is a common pa procedure in many cases where the stability of an Air Force fighter’s equipment Strength is questionable, as recently reported by the EurAsian Times.
On May 11, an F-16 assigned to the South Dakota Air National Guard’s 114th Fighter Wing skidded off the end of Runway 15 at Joe Foss Field in Sioux Falls after returning from a normal training mission .
A few weeks later, on May 31, a second event occurred when an F-16C aircraft assigned to the 114th Fighter Wing had a similar landing accident.
The US Navy’s Super Hornet was also involved in a fatal accident recently. On June 3, in south-central California, a Navy F/A-18E Super Hornet crashed at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake.
The Navy said in a statement that the FA-18E Super Hornet crashed near Trona, about 230 miles southeast of Naval Air Station Lemoore, Calif., where the fighter jets are based. This crash, like the Osprey, was also fatal, with Lt. Richard Bullock of Strike Fighter Squadron 113 (VFA-113) perishing in the incident.