V-22 Ospreys Operating Under ‘Limited Envelope’ After String of Crashes: Officials

More than two months since the US military cleared the V-22 Ospreys to start flying again, a senior official revealed that the tilt-rotor aircraft is operating under a “limited envelope” for an indefinite period.

Limited envelope means the Bell Boeing aircraft is not allowed to carry out missions more than 30 minutes away from a suitable airfield.

This is to facilitate quick emergency landings in case the Ospreys experience technical malfunctions again.

The limited envelope could also allow the US military to closely monitor the troubled aircraft and act immediately in case it needs assistance.

“We’re characterizing and collecting data so that we can better understand where we are, and be able to safely get back to the full flight envelope for that aircraft,” US Navy acquisition official Nickolas Guertin said, as quoted by Breaking Defense.

Multiple Crashes

The US military’s Osprey program has been under scrutiny following four deadly crashes in a span of 20 months.

The most recent happened off the coast of Japan in November 2023, taking the lives of eight American soldiers.

Investigations revealed that a mechanical failure caused the accident, though they did not provide specific details.

Within almost two years, three more V-22 Osprey crashes had been recorded: one in Norway in March 2022, another in California just a month after, and the third in Australia in August 2023.

In total, more than 50 soldiers have been killed in Osprey-related crashes since 1992.

The string of recent crashes had prompted the US military to order a three-month stand down of the entire V-22 fleet “to mitigate risk while the investigation continues.”

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