A series of incidents involving V-22 Osprey aircraft, including a deadly crash off the coast of Japan that claimed the lives of eight special operations airmen, has prompted a congressional investigation into the safety and performance of these aircraft. House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer has requested Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to provide various documents related to the Osprey program, including safety records, maintenance logs, accident investigations, and performance evaluations, with a deadline of January 4, 2024, for their submission. The investigation follows the grounding of all Osprey fleets by the Air Force, Marines, and Navy after the November crash due to a suspected mechanical failure. The Osprey has a history of incidents and mechanical issues since its first flight in 1989, resulting in over 60 service member deaths in more than a dozen accidents. Despite its unique tiltrotor technology, questions remain about the aircraft’s safety and cost-effectiveness, particularly given that most fatalities occur during training rather than combat operations.
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