On August 5, 2017, a United States Marine Corps MV-22 Osprey assigned to Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265 with the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit, took off from the amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard and headed for the USS Green Bay as part of an exercise when, with almost no warning, everything went sideways.
The Osprey struck the USS Green Bay and crashed in Shoalwater Bay on the east coast of Australia. Although a heroic effort resulted in the rescue of twenty-three personnel, there had been twenty-six aboard the accident aircraft. Three marines were confirmed dead by the end of joint-US and Australian Navy recovery operations.
Now, on July 2, 2022, a terrifying video from the crash was posted online by the YouTube channel What You Haven’t Seen, showing what happened that day on the flight deck. It appears that the video was never published before and was recorded from Green Bay’s hangar door.
The video shows the tiltrotor during the final approach as it is being marshaled to its landing spot by the aircraft director.
As the Osprey was turning around its yaw axis to get in the correct position for the touchdown, it seemingly lost lift on the left side, striking the flight deck with the left engine nacelle. In contrast, the cockpit section struck the starboard side of the USS Green Bay, before falling into the sea.
A year later, the USMC released the investigation report, where it was determined the aircraft crashed due to facing too much downwash and not having the thrust to hold its hover, but also the aircraft may have been carrying too much weight.
The investigation outlined a complex but low-risk mission for the Osprey, but also made clear that no one was at fault in the incident and that all three personnel died in the line of duty and not due to misconduct.
“The mission was complex, challenging, and included flying into and out of a highly congested operational area. Executing this mission required a detailed plan and superior technical performance. The Marines manning the mishap aircraft were mission capable, fully-trained, and qualified. The mishap aircraft was mechanically sound,” said the report.