Dive Teams Work to Recover Crashed Marine Osprey Off Australia

Posted August 08, 2017

Recovery efforts continue for three missing service members after 23 of the personnel aboard the Osprey were rescued, Davis said.

The Australian navy says it has found the missing USA aircraft that crashed into the sea Saturday off Australia's east coast.

Three US Marines have been missing since what the Marine Corps calls a "mishap" with an MV-22 aircraft. The Australian Navy found the sunken blend of a helicopter and plane overnight. The wreckage was found shortly thereafter, Australian Defense Minister Marise Payne said in a statement.

The crew of an Australian ship, the HMAS Melville, as well as Australian divers were set to start "remotely operated underwater vehicle operations beginning this evening", the department said in a statement. The MV-22 is a vertical-launch aircraft, also known as an Osprey.

Itsunori Onodera asked the U.S. to temporarily stop flying the Ospreys in Japan following the accident. Last December, a USA military Osprey crash-landed off Japan's southern island of Okinawa.

There have been a series of deadly incidents, mostly in the United States, involving the aircraft.

The deployment of Ospreys in Japan is unpopular with local residents, and Japanese Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera has asked the U.S. to ground its Japan-based fleet until the cause of this crash is known.

The aircraft had taken off earlier Saturday from the USS Bonhomme Richard, an amphibious assault ship.

"I can confirm no Australian Defence Force personnel were on board the aircraft", Payne said in a statement. The biennial exercise involved some 30,000 troops and 200 aircraft.

The Osprey aircraft, which can take off and land like helicopters but cruise like fixed-wing airplanes, have one of the worst safety records among military transport aircraft in the world. Its development was nearly canceled after 23 Marines were killed during a flight test in 2000.