U.S. Discovers Remains of 7th Osprey Crash Crew Member

(TargetDailyNews.com) – The U.S. military says it has recovered the seventh of eight bodies of service members who died in November when an Osprey aircraft crashed in the ocean south of Japan.

The craft, also called a CV-22, is a combination helicopter/airplane that has been plagued with reliability problems for years. What makes it unique is its ability to take off and land vertically like a helicopter, but then rotate its propellers to the horizontal position to fly like an airplane.

The Osprey in question was en route to Okinawa, Japan, when it crashed on November 29th. News reports are giving conflicting information about the number of crew member bodies that have been discovered and identified. Some sources say all eight crew members have been found, while others say that one or two bodies remain to be retrieved. The identities of all eight crew members are known to the military, but the information is not being released to the public pending notification of their families.

On Sunday, December 10th, the U.S. Air Force released a statement on the recovery operation. The statement said the U.S. and the Japanese militaries were cooperating in the recovery, and divers had retrieved most of the bodies from the sunken wreckage of the Osprey. One final body remains to be found, according to the statement.

Last week, the U.S. military said all Osprey craft are indefinitely grounded. The order to ground the fleet came from Lt. Gen. Tony Bauernfeind, who heads the Air Force Special Operations Command. He made the decision “to mitigate risk while the investigation continues.” The hope is to find the reason for the crash and allow the unusual craft to get back into service.

While there are no firm and final details about what caused the crash, the military said that the cause was a “material failure,” not pilot or crew error. This was a primary reason behind the decision to ground the fleet.

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