An MV-22B Osprey aircraft that experienced a landing mishap aboard the USS New Orleans on Dec. 9 came up short on its intended landing area, a spokeperson confirmed in an update to the investigation Tuesday.
According to Capt. Brian “Scott” Villiard, public affairs officer with the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU), the Osprey attached to the MEU was carrying 22 passengers and four aircrew members when it experienced a landing mishap at around 5 p.m., as the military aircraft was flying U.S. Marines back to the USS New Orleans from a non-combatant training event ashore.
On Tuesday, nearly one week after the incident, Capt. Villiard released an update on the landing mishap, saying the MV-22B “landed short of its intended spot on the USS New Orleans, hanging its aft landing gears in the safety netting surrounding the flight deck.”
All passengers and crew members were safe and uninjured in the incident, Capt. Villiard confirmed immediately following the landing mishap. The USS New Orleans was operating off the coast of Camp Pendleton near north San Diego County at the time of the incident.
“The investigation is currently being conducted by VMM-166 (Reinforced), the air combat element of the 13th MEU,” Capt. Villiard explained in an email to NBC 7 Thursday morning. “Details regarding damage and events surrounding the mishap will be determined by the investigation.”
Due to the ongoing investigation, Capt. Villiard said it is “premature” to classify the incident as a “hard landing.”
“Further details will be provided as they become available,” he added last week.
For now, the captain said the incident is being treated as what’s called a “Class A mishap” amid the ongoing investigation. The final classification of the mishap will be ultimately determined by how much damage the aircraft sustained, he said.
“Class A mishaps are defined by the Naval Aviation Safety Management System as ‘one in which the total cost of damage to DoD or non-DoD property, aircraft or UAVs is $2 million or more, or a naval aircraft is destroyed or missing, or any fatality or permanent total disability of personnel results from the direct involvement of naval aircraft or UAV,’” Capt. Villiard added.
The 13th MEU is currently embarked on the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group conducting a training exercise for an upcoming deployment to the Pacific and Central Command areas of responsibility.
MV-22 Osprey aircraft is used by the U.S. Marine Corps in the transportation of troops, equipment and supplies from ships and land bases for support.
According to the U.S. Navy, the USS New Orleans (LPD-18) is a San Antonio-class amphibious transport dock ship designed with increased vehicle lift capacity, a large flight deck and advanced ship survivability features. USS New Orleans was commissioned in March 2007 and is capable of transporting 1,200 sailors and Marines.