Lack of Aircraft Emergency Escape Training Ended in Tragedy in Australia MV-22 Crash

MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft prepares to land aboard the Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) June 10, 2017. (Lance Cpl. Amy Phan/Marine Corps)

MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft prepares to land aboard the Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) June 10, 2017. (Lance Cpl. Amy Phan/Marine Corps)

May 21, 2018 | Source: Marine Corps Times, marinecorpstimes.com, 10 May 2018, Shawn Snow

Unused breathing apparatuses, Marines unable to get out of restraints, unsecured equipment, unused life preservers: This was the scene highlighted in the recently completed investigation of a tragic Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey crash that occurred Aug. 5, 2017, off the coast of Queensland, Australia, killing three.

Nine minutes is all it took for the MV-22 with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron, or VMM-265, to completely submerge in the ocean after striking the starboard side of the amphibious transport dock Green Bay during a training exercise, leaving its passengers scrambling to exit an aircraft rapidly filing with water and bombarded by shifting unsecured equipment and pelican cases.

The investigation found that as the aircraft plunged into the water, Marines needed assistance removing aircrew endurance vest restraint systems, which harnessed them to the sinking Osprey.

On top of that, eight of the passengers hadn’t even restrained themselves in the seat before the crash. Those passengers, along with a pile of unsecured gear, were flung forward, creating added obstacles for others while attempting to escape.