Bobo sends us a link to the Stars & Stripes which reports that the Pentagon has cleared the Marine pilots, Major Brooks Gruber and Lieutenant Colonel John Brow, of culpability in an April 2000 VS-22 Osprey crash which happened in Marana, Arizona and killed 19 Marines including the pilots.
“Human factors undoubtedly contributed to the Marana accident,” [Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work] said. “However, it is clear that there were deficiencies in the V-22’s development and engineering and safety programs that were corrected only after the crash – and these deficiencies likely contributed to the accident and its fatal outcome. I therefore conclude it is impossible to point to a single ‘fatal factor’ that caused this crash.”
“I hope this letter will provide the widows of Lieutenant Colonel Brow and Major Gruber some solace after all of these years in which the blame for the Marana accident was incorrectly interpreted or understood to be primarily attributed to their husbands.”
The change does not affect the official documents or the current Osprey program. The lawsuits are over, so there are no legal ramifications or further monetary gain. (Manufacturers Bell Boeing settled out of court with the families; the details are sealed.)
Yeah, if that’s not proof that the lawyers are in charge at the Pentagon, nothing does. Instead of discussing actual safety problems with an aircraft, we’re more concerned with the liability problems a crash causes. Those osprey pilots can take solace in the fact that the Pentagon won’t tell them what causes malfunctions until the court documents are filed and the case closes.
From a CNN article a year after the crash;
The April 8, 2000, accident was blamed on pilot error — investigators found the pilot landed too quickly and at too steep an angle, causing the tilt-rotor plane to lose lift under its right rotor.
Category: Big Pentagon