WASHINGTON (Agencies): The House Oversight Committee has initiated an investigation into the safety of an Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in the aftermath of a CV-22 crash near Japan last month that resulted in the loss of eight airmen. The committee, led by Rep. James Comer (R-Ky.), has expressed concerns over safety and performance issues related to the Osprey program and has requested comprehensive documentation from the Pentagon to gain insights into its performance, safety measures, and oversight protocols.

The tragic incident on November 29, which marked the deadliest Air Force aviation mishap since 2018, prompted all three services operating the Osprey—the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps—to ground their fleets. The recent crash was the first fatal CV-22 mishap for the Air Force since 2010, but the Osprey has been involved in several deadly incidents in recent years, raising questions about its safety and reliability.

In his letter to Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III, Rep. Comer highlighted the need for a thorough examination of the Osprey program, pointing out that over 50 service members have lost their lives in Osprey crashes since 1992. While acknowledging that statistically, the Osprey is not considered as dangerous as some other military aircraft, Comer expressed concern that most fatalities involving the aircraft have occurred during training exercises rather than combat operations.

The committee set up January 4 for the Defense Department to provide various documents, including safety records, maintenance and reliability data, incident reports, training protocols, performance evaluations, budget documents, and plans for the Osprey program. The move follows a previous Oversight Committee hearing on the program in 2009, which faced challenges due to a lack of cooperation from the Pentagon.

Pentagon Press Secretary Air Force Maj. Gen. Patrick S. Ryder confirmed receiving the letter and stated that the department would respond accordingly. The Pentagon’s V-22 Joint Program Office has yet to respond to queries regarding the document request.

By Media

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