Tuesday, November 24, 2015
US Marines Seeks Improved Brownout Tolerance for MV-22
The U.S. Marine Corps is looking into better engine filtration and improved power-status displays for its MV-22s in the wake of a fatal May 17 crash in Hawaii. That Osprey crashed, killing a crew chief and one rifleman aboard, after dust and debris ingestion led to a power loss in its left engine and sudden descent during a low hover, a Marine investigation found. The crash injured 20 others aboard the Bell Boeing tiltrotor. Investigators cited no pilot misconduct or negligence of duties or training, though they did fault them for an improper survey of the landing zone at Marine Corps Training Area Bellows on the island of Hawaii and their decision to continue the landing in sustained brownout conditions. Investigators did find that the Osprey pilots responded properly to the power loss. As a result of the investigation, naval aviation procedures were changed to reduce the time that pilots operate in such conditions from 60 to 35 seconds, according to a Marine official. The Marines also are looking at upgrading the Osprey’s multi-functional display to provide better engine performance, developing pilot alerts when engine power falls below 95% and improving the aircraft’s current engine air-particle separator.