By Russ Niles
Navy divers have found a large piece of the V-22 Osprey that went down off Japan Nov. 29. The wreckage, which includes the flight deck, contains the bodies of five of the eight people who were aboard the aircraft. Two of the bodies were recovered Monday. There are still two bodies missing. The remains of Staff Sgt. Jacob Galliher, 24, of Massachusetts, was found shortly after the crash, which occurred off the coast of Yakushima Island.
The crew of the tiltrotor declared an emergency and was diverting to the island on a training flight. They were headed to Okinawa before the diversion. It’s the second fatal Osprey crash in three months. Three marines were killed in an accident in Australia in late August. Japan, the only other country operating Ospreys, has grounded its fleet and wants the U.S. to do the same until all the aircraft can undergo a thorough inspection.
The Air Force did ground its 52 Ospreys Monday for an issue unrelated to the crash in Japan. A recurring problem with the clutches that transfer power between the two engines prompted the grounding. It hasn’t caused any crashes or injuries but it can be alarming when it happens and the Air Force is concerned it will startle a flight crew and lead to a crash.