March 28, 2006
Osprey damaged; no one injured
Less than a month after the Marine Corps’ first operational Osprey squadron stood up, one aircraft has been damaged.
An MV-22 belonging to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Training Squadron 204 sustained “major” damage to the right wing and right engine at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C. Monday morning, according to a press release from MCAS Cherry Point, N.C.
The accident occurred after an “inadvertent takeoff” and a subsequent hard landing.
The mishap occurred during a check flight following maintenance.
No one on the ground or in the aircraft was injured, officials said. An investigation is under way.
On March 3, Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 was stood up at New River, and officials said they expect the Osprey to deploy overseas within the year.
Sounds like either the check pilot or the turn-qual operator fucked up.
You can pretty much bet that anything that happens with the MV22 will be highly scrutinized.
How many past 'new' programs have had this much attention. (?)
Do the Marines certify maintenance guys for run/taxi? During my time in the Army run/taxi was non-existent. Closest was the Apache guys being certified for APU starts.
Sounds like he taxied into a hangar.
I am not familiar with the drive system of the Osprey.
Most helos have a transmission where you can disconnect the rotors from the drive shaft so you can turn up the engines without spinning the blades.
For the Navy and Marine Corps, enlisted personnel are allowed to turn-up the engines but are not allowed to engage the rotors.
Back in the dark ages of Naval Aviation the Enlisted crew chiefs were allowed to turn and taxi the A-3. I had run through my engine turn-up training and had gotten qualified for low and high-power turns and was working on my taxi quals when the commander of the base said no enlisted personnel would be allowed to taxi jet or prop aircraft.
It seems that some retard P-3 Flight Engineer at PMTC had tried to taxi a P-3 through the aircraft wash rack and had gotten one of the main mounts stuck in the drain channels.
I did get to taxi a C-130 on skis in Antarctica though.
What helicopters might that be? I’ve worked on OH-58’s, UH-1’s and AH-64’s, been in aviation maintenance for 21 years, have yet to see what you describe. Am I just out of the loop since I started working for the airlines?
I thought that the Huey with the Twin-pac ala UH-1N had a transmission that you could disconnect the rotors from.
Never worked on the UH-1N’s so I’m not sure. Only Sikorsky product I’ve come close to was the Blackhawks in units I was assigned to in the Army. Can’t remember ever seeing them run-up with out the blades turning.
If I recall correctly, in USMC a/c when the engines are turning, so are the rotors. There is a tranny, but you can't put it in neutral. H-1, 46 and 53. That POS Osprey might be different.
Rumor has it that a FADEC failed on one engine.
What you were seeing wasn't a transmission disengaging, it was the rotor brake or rotor lock being used for idle runs. We did it all the time on HH-60s, you can run one engine at a time to idle with the rotor gust lock engaged, but can't run to power or run both engines at the same time without spinning the rotor (2 to idle is ok with the rotor brake IIRC, but not with the lock). I think most helos are that way (at least those with brakes/locks).
Man, that’s kinda crappy. You’d figure that if one FADEC failed that there would be some redundancy in the system, usually FADECS have Channels A & B just for that purpose.
I "heard" that the FADEC's are single channel, but there is a dual channel FADEC that has been approved but not funded - yet.
The current FADEC has an electronic analog back-up, I don't know if that is going to be replaced by the dual channel FADEC.
To make matters worse, the current V-22 FADEC is made by Lucas Aerospace.
Those things are death traps.
I'll never forget the emotional outcry by the widows of the Marines that were slain like lab rats on that Osprey.
My "source" was correct.
Maintenance Eyed in V-22 Mishap Probe
Christopher J. Castelli
April 04, 2006
Naval officials looking into last week's MV-22 Osprey mishap are considering
whether recent maintenance work done on the aircraft may have somehow
contributed to the incident, according to a Marine Corps general and
The cause of the mishap remains undetermined, but the aircraft suffered
"major damage to its wing and right engine" March 27 at New River, NC,
according to a statement issued by the service after the incident. The
aircraft damage "resulted from an inadvertent takeoff followed by a hard
landing" on the base's flight line during a post-maintenance functional
check flight, according to the statement.
"There was some sort of malfunction, engine malfunction and the result was
damage -- severe damage to the wing and the engine cell," Lt. Gen. Emerson
Gardner, deputy commandant for programs and resources, told the Senate Armed
Services seapower subcommittee at a hearing March 29.
"Of course the investigation is focused on the maintenance activities that
took place that led to the requirement to do the functional check as well as
the actions of the crew, which we always do in this case," Gardner added.
Naval officials are also reviewing a particular incident in 2005 that is
somewhat similar to the March 27 mishap, a service official told Inside the
Navy . The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, did know the
The Pentagon approved plans to buy the Osprey in large numbers for the
Marine Corps last year. This was a major milestone for the program, which
was restructured after two fatal mishaps in 2000. The program has since had
less serious mishaps, but no fatalities.
Maj. Shawn Haney, a spokeswoman for the 2nd Marine Air Wing at Cherry Point,
NC, said the aircraft involved in the March 27 incident had undergone an
"engine change" prior to the mishap. That does not necessarily mean an
engine was replaced, but rather could mean an engine was removed for
maintenance work and then reinstalled, according to Haney. She did not have
further details on the maintenance work or the engine malfunction that
occurred during the mishap.
A Pentagon source said the maintenance work might have led to unintentional
problems, such as a wiring error. Pentagon and service sources, speaking on
condition of anonymity, told Inside the Navy the inadvertent takeoff
happened when the pilot switched modes for the Full Authority Digital Engine
Control (FADEC) from automatic to manual. This switch, one of many planned
steps during the ground portion of the check flight, should not have caused
the Osprey to take flight. But the MV-22 suddenly rose about 30 feet in the
air, Haney said. No one was hurt. Three people were aboard the aircraft at
It is unclear whether the FADEC then reduced power, causing the aircraft to
lower to the ground, or whether the pilot did that, the Pentagon source
Experts are considering whether a near-term software change should be made
to address the issue of switching between FADEC modes, said a service
The incident has been labeled a class A mishap, which is the most serious
and expensive kind. By definition, any mishap costing more than $1 million
is in this category.
The Osprey damaged in the incident belongs to Marine Medium Tiltrotor
Training Squadron 204. Haney declined to provide the identifying numbers for
that particular aircraft.
The V-22's wings are designed to separate from the fuselage in certain crash
situations for safety reasons.
Some sources suggested a wing broke off in
last week's mishap, but Haney would not say whether this occurred.
Following the mishap, the squadron ceased flying Ospreys for several days.
Haney said flights resumed March 30.
The Marine Corps is investigating the incident. There will be two
investigations -- one led by a mishap board at the squadron level and
another by the judge advocate general at the Marine air group level.
Though no causes have been publicly identified, Navy acquisition executive
Delores Etter downplayed the incident March 31 following an appearance on
Asked whether the mishap raises concerns about the program or whether the
incident was a one-time fluke, Etter said, "Well that incident is under
investigation so I couldn't speak to that, but the initial indication is
that this is not something that is going to be a serious issue. So we're
still feeling very confident about the MV-22."
Navy V-22 spokesman James Darcy said the program office dispatched engineers
to New River to support the mishap investigation and the fleet support team.
But he declined to comment on the mishap.
Bell Helicopter Textron and Boeing build the Osprey mainly for the Marine
Corps, but also for the Air Force component of U.S. Special Operations
Command. Bell spokesman Bob Leder had no comment on the mishap and referred
questions to the Marine Corps.
Negatory on the H-53. If you have the engines running, the rotors are turning. Unless the rotor break is on as suggested above.
Marine KC-130's FE's did/ do high speed taxi checks all the time, NKT late 90's..Guys are still doing it today.....
Thanks for the info on the helo main rotors.
I'm a fixed wing guy with a few hours in H-1's and H-3's.
Navy doesn't have "turn qual" for main engines on rotary wing for just this reason. V-22 is classified as rotary wing.
You can't disconnect the engines from the drive system. You can hold the transmissions/rotors in place with a rotor brake, but if it fails (and they do from time to time) those rotors are a spinnin.
In the H46 world an H2P and a qualified observer could do maintenance turns for engine wash as long as it wasn't an FCF.
Qualified maintainers could motor the engines (turn with hydraulics), but couldn't introduce fuel.
-from a former Detachment DivO, Line DivO, Aircraft DivO, Asst Maint Off, and Maint Off
I don't think that you can do it on a turboshaft either, but that's outside my area of expertise.
do you know why the british prefer their beer warm? because Lucas makes their refrigerators.
do you know why Lucas electric never entered the personal computer market? because they couldnt figure out how to make a PC leak oil.
anyone who has ever owned a british car knows thats a nightmare waiting to happen. i have posted many a diatribe on past osprey threads regarding my dads involvement in the test program and some very limited exposure i had as a Marine. bottom line: its a dangerous piece of shit and the Corps painted themselves in a corner and now they must see it through.
Turboshaft is a Helo engine, now I remember in A&P school of an instructor holding the prop of a king air, and another instructor starting the engine to demonstrate the theory behind a free spin turbine.
That only works until about 30% or so, then the torque will overpower your hand....
I'm sure it was almost a lock to be a "maintenance" error, because the Osprey is perfect. IIRC, there was a stink a few years ago because the T/E squadron was using a bastardized version of NALCOMIS designed just for the V-22 that had some rose-colored reports. Say what you will about the thing, but I am very happy I will never have to set foot in one for any reason.
The whole design and procurement process for that thing stunk. Sikorsky had an upgraded 46 flying at the time the V-22 was born that would have been a massive upgrade to the 46 fleet in range, speed and capability without hanging a bunch of Marines' ass out to dry while they work out the bugs. I hope I eat my words, but the first time that things goes into combat against a competent, profesional enemy it's going to be ugly for the Osprey.
Dude.. You were in VXE-6??? So was I
Whoops. Meant to type turboprop
Sikorsky...upgraded 46. Dude, check your story.
Yeah, just like that Chevy that was upgraded by Ford
As noted, check your story.
The Boeing CH-46 Sea Knight helicopter has served the US Navy and Marine Corps faithfully since the early 1960s.
Beyond the Sikorsky/Boeing issue, Boeing never had an "upgraded" 46 "available". The Boeing line has long been closed. Kawasaki did do some production for Japan, Saudi Arabia, and a couple of other places.
Once upon a time the USN did ask about reopening the line, but the cost was prohibitive and some of the fabrication equipment was sold to Kawasaki when the H-46E line closed in the early 1970s.
There was a Boeing concept aircraft with a composite fuselage and restractable gear, but it was too large to fit in shipboard hangars (less of a concern for the USMC than the USN), but there were several problems in adapting that model (the 360 IIRC) to shipboard use.
I was there from 1992 - 1996 as a Herc Loadmaster.
Did you know Ben Micou.