Bodies of 19 Marines Recovered From Osprey Wreckage
By Staff Sgt. Kathleen T. Rhem, USA
American Forces Press Service
WASHINGTON, Apr. 13, 2000 Marine Corps officials here announced April 12 they have recovered the bodies of 19 Marines killed when their MV-22 Osprey crashed in Arizona April 8.
The aircraft crashed and burst into flames at a civilian airport near Tucson. There were no survivors. Fourteen of the deceased were stationed at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, Calif., four at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., and one at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif.
A Marine Corps spokesperson said the bodies will be taken to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson for identification and processing. The official said the Marines will be buried with military honors.
Investigators were waiting for the bodies to be recovered before searching for the flight data recorder. Officials hope the "black box" will answer questions about why the aircraft crashed. It will be sent to its manufacturer, Smith Industries in Grand Rapids, Mich., where officials from the Naval Safety Center, in Norfolk, Va., will extract data on airspeed, altitude, heading, and engine performance data, among other things.
The Osprey is a relatively new aircraft; the Marines have received five of an estimated end-strength of 360. The Marine Corps is keen on Ospreys because they can takeoff and land like a helicopter but fly like a plane, giving them greater range and speed, officials have said.
The Marines killed were taking part in an evaluation of four of the aircraft when their Osprey crashed.