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Families of Marines Who Died in Osprey Crash File Lawsuit

By    |   Friday, 24 May 2024 09:01 PM EDT

The families of five U.S. Marines who died in a crash of an Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in 2022 have filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the aircraft's manufacturers, claiming they did not address known mechanical failures.

Capt. John Sax, 33, of Placer, California; Capt. Nicholas Losapio, 31, of Rockingham, New Hampshire; Cpl. Nathan Carlson, 21, of Winnebago, Illinois; Cpl. Seth Rasmuson, 21, of Buffalo, Wyoming; and Lance Cpl. Evan Strickland, 19, of Valencia, New Mexico, died in the crash on June 8, 2022, on a routine training flight in the California desert near the Arizona border.

An investigation released in July 2023 by the Marine Corps  found a "dual hard clutch engagement [HCE]" created a single engine and interconnect drive system (ICDS) failure, resulting in a "catastrophic loss of thrust on the right-hand proprotor."

The Osprey can take off or land like a helicopter but fly like an airplane and allows military services to travel long distances quickly and land on a target. But it has had a troubled history, with more than 50 service members dying in accidents since 2000, including eight in November in Japan.

The Japan crash prompted the Pentagon to ground all flights for three months until the ban was lifted in March. The aircraft reportedly still faces flight restrictions that keep it close to landing spots.

The lawsuit filed Thursday names Boeing and Bell Textron, which designed, manufactured, and assembled the Osprey, and Rolls-Royce, which manufactured the engine. It stated the entire aircraft was "defective and unreasonably dangerous" because "it did not meet the government's specifications for operation, durability, endurance, or reliability."

"Our military members deserve equipment and aircraft free of failures, especially failures that can cause the loss of their lives," Amber Sax, a plaintiff in the case and widow of Capt. John Sax, told The Sacramento Bee in a statement. "I should have been growing old with my husband, our two children shouldn't be growing up without their father."

The lawsuit cited issues with the Osprey's ICDS, which transfers power from one engine to both of the aircraft's two rotors in case a rotor engine fails.

"The Osprey's ICDS also lacks redundancy, contributes to catastrophic systems failure, and grossly fails to meet specifications, because it allows a HCE on one side to initiate a HCE on the other side, which results in the assured loss of the aircraft and occupants with no corrective action available to the brave military pilots and crew, who are along for the ride to their deaths," the lawsuit stated.

It also claimed the aircraft's complex system of clutches and linkages is "flawed, unsafe, and does not meet the government's specifications for safety and/or reliability," and cited the Osprey's engine-controlling computer as part of the issue, as well.

The Bee reported that Bell Textron spokesman Jay Hernandez told McClatchy News on Thursday the company "cannot comment on matters of litigation." Boeing and Rolls-Royce didn't immediately respond to McClatchy News' requests for comment.

Michael Katz

Michael Katz is a Newsmax reporter with more than 30 years of experience reporting and editing on news, culture, and politics.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


US
The families of five U.S. Marines who died in a crash of an Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in 2022 have filed a federal wrongful death lawsuit against the aircraft's manufacturers, claiming they did not address known mechanical failures.
osprey aircraft, wrongful death lawsuit, marines, families
494
2024-01-24
Friday, 24 May 2024 09:01 PM
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