MV-22 Marine crash

MV-22 Crash Leaves Three US Military Men Missing

Admin Airplanes, Flex Air News, Helicopters

The remains from a MV-22 Osprey hybrid military aircraft that crashed on Saturday was found, the Australian Navy confirmed in a statement, at the mercy of unrelenting pressure from the Pacific Ocean.

In a statement Monday, Defense Minister Marise Payne said a survey ship was responsible for locating the inundated MV-22 Osprey in Shoalwater Bay.

As of now, three US Marines remain missing since the “mishap”, according to the Marine Corps.
The MV-22 Osprey boasts a 24 troop (seated) and 32 troop (floor loaded) lift capacity. At the time of the accident, 26 military personnel were on board the aircraft; of these 26, 23 were rescued.

The US military, supported by the Australian government, used every appropriate personnel and machinery to peruse nearby areas in an attempt to find the three missing individuals. On Sunday, after recognizing their efforts yielded little to no results, the search of Australia’s east coast was ended.

The extensive search was manned using aircraft and boats from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group, according to the Marine Corps.

“I want to thank the Australian Defense Force, and the crew of the HMAS Melville in particular, for their assistance in the search and recovery effort of our MV-22 that went down off the coast of Australia,” Lt. Gen. Lawrence Nicholson of the Marine Expeditionary Force said Monday. “They volunteered their help before we could even ask, demonstrating their friendship and value as international partners.”

The military notified the families of the missing Marines once the circumstances were fully understood.

Of these three families, only the family of Ben Cross of Bethel, Maine has given a statement on the matter. Family members conveyed the gravity of their loss and that the loss in and of itself was “unbearable.”

“We’re gonna miss FaceTime with him whenever he got a chance and certainly any leave that he would have gotten,” said the Marine’s father, Robert Cross.

The Marine’s mother, Valerie Cross, said, “We have so many awesome memories, but to know that we will never make any more with him is unbearable.”

The grieving parents and brother of Cross wanted to give their condolences to the families of the other missing Marines.

The US military is stationed in the area for scheduled training in conjunction with the Australian military. This recently developed joint military exercise, largely conducted out of Shoalwater Bay, encompassed a 30,000 US and Australian men operation.

Australian authorities confirmed that no Australians were on board the aircraft at the time of the incident.

The aircraft involved in the crash was the MV-22 Osprey, a vertical-launch, tilt rotor aircraft similar to a typical plane, but with helicopter-esque rotor blades that allow for a vertical takeoff.

“The aircraft involved in the mishap had launched from the USS Bonhomme Richard (a Navy amphibious assault ship) and was conducting regularly scheduled operations when the aircraft entered the water,” the Marine Corps said in a statement.

Records from the Bonhomme Richard’s Facebook page documented the crew executing a series of water training exercises Saturday. These military drills were an outgrowth of training that ended last week between US and Australian Military units.

Several accidents resulting in the injury and/or death of U.S. Military personnel have involved Ospreys in the past few years, one particular crash happened to be in Japan. Given past and recent events, the use of Ospreys has become unwelcome with Japanese locals. Japanese Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera requested that the United States immediately ground all Japan-based Ospreys until the reason for the crash is revealed.