The U.S. Marines announced that an incident involving an MV-22 Osprey landing aboard the USS New Orleans occurred on Wednesday, thankfully with no injuries reported. But now we are seeing just how close this incident came to total disaster as the ship arrived back in San Diego with the Osprey in question hanging at an angle off its fantail.
The aircraft appears to have landed short while making an angled approach to the the USS New Orleans flight deck. The Osprey’s rear wheels can be seen hanging over the edge. The Marines reported that the accident happened at around 5 p.m. and that the Osprey was fully loaded with people, including 22 passengers and four crew members.
If the aircraft had slipped backwards, plunging off the amphibious assault ship’s deck, the results would have been catastrophic for the aircraft and potentially tragic for the people onboard.
Flying vertical lift missions in the maritime environment is some of the toughest flying in the world, and mishaps, some of them very strange in nature, are bound to happen. Yet even with the occasional accident in mind, although tragic, it is amazing how few deadly incidents actually occur.
The San Antonio Class USS New Orleans is currently part of the Boxer Amphibious Ready Group which is undergoing training off the California coast in preparation for a deployment to the Middle East.
Wednesday’s Osprey incident is currently under investigation, and surely having a half-crashed Osprey paraded through San Diego Bay for all to see was not an ego-booster for any of those involved.
Contact the author at Tyler@jalopnik.com.
Top photo via DoD