5 Marines on fallen Osprey dead, aircraft under scrutiny

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FILE – A MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft flies at Marine Corps Air Facility at Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va., on on Aug. 3, 2012. Officials say a Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey carrying five Marines crashed in the Southern California desert, Wednesday afternoon, June 8, 2022, during training in a remote area near the community of Glamis in Imperial County. Military officials have yet to release official word on the fate of the five Marines. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)

(NewsNation) — All five Marines on a military aircraft that crashed in Southern California have been confirmed dead — and now, the aircraft itself is under increased scrutiny after a series of other crashes involving the MV-22B Osprey.

The call about the downed aircraft came in Wednesday just after noon local time. The Osprey, which belongs to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, went down near the town of Glamis in southern California, close to Camp Pendleton and the U.S.-Mexico border.

On Thursday, the commanding general of the Marine Aircraft wing confirmed all five Marines have died.

“We mourn the loss of our Marines in this tragic mishap,” Maj. Gen. Bradford J. Gering said in a statement. “Our hearts go out to their families and friends as they cope with this tragedy.”

The MV-22B Osprey was used to transport troops, equipment and supplies. But now, people are taking a closer look at it after multiple crashes that also resulted in deaths.

Retired Lt. General Richard Newton spoke about its use on NewsNation’s “Rush Hour,” calling the Osprey a “very interesting aircraft.”

“It’s part helicopter, part aircraft, and it’s been a mainstay over in our operations in the Middle East, and in special operations for a number of years, flown by the United States Navy, Marine Corps, and the United States Air Force,” Newton said.

Since 1991, more than 40 people have died flying on Ospreys.

“Guys I’ve talked to that fly the airplane like it very much, they say it flies well, and they have fixed a lot of problems, but it does have a high accident rate, compared to other cargo aircraft,” Rich Martindell, an aviation and safety consultant, said.

That accident rate is three times higher, Martindell added.

Most recently, four American service members died after participating in a NATO exercise on an Osprey. In 2017, three were killed when their MV-22B Osprey crashed around Queensland, Australia.

One Marine was killed, and 21 injured, when their Osprey caught fire during a hard landing in Hawaii during a 2015 incident, while 19 Marines were killed in Arizona in 2000 in an accident involving the same aircraft.

Regarding Wednesday’s crash, equipment recovery efforts have begun, and an investigation on what happened is underway.

The Marines’ cousin, Gage McDonald, confirmed to NewsNation that Nathan Carlson, 21, died in the crash.

“Words can’t explain the way I am feeling. We were practically raised together. I am so sorry this happened to you,” McDonald wrote on Facebook.

Per policy, the identities of the other Marines killed will not be released by officials until 24 hours after all next-of-kin notifications have been made.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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