Forty-three days after the tragic crash of a U.S. Air Force CV-22 Osprey off the coast of Japan, the Pentagon announced the cessation of search and recovery operations. Air Force Special Operations Command confirmed that the extensive joint effort, which began on November 29, 2023, involved more than 1,000 personnel, 46 aircraft, 23 maritime vessels, and 21 unmanned systems, covering a vast area of the ocean’s surface and floor. Despite these efforts, the remains of Major Eric Spendlove were not recovered.
The incident, which remains the deadliest Air Force aviation mishap since 2018, is under investigation, with initial findings suggesting a material failure of the Osprey. The crash has led to standdowns of the V-22 fleets across the Air Force, Navy, and Marine Corps. The recovery of the aircraft’s black box is expected to be crucial in understanding the crash’s specific causes.