U.S. Focuses on Safety Checks Before Resuming Osprey Flight

U.S. Navy via AP
Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 2nd Class Nicholas Hawkins signals an MV-22 Osprey to land on the flight deck of the USS Abraham Lincoln in the Arabian Sea in May 2019.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. government said Thursday that it would focus on safety checks for the military’s Osprey V-22 aircraft before resuming operations following a crash off the coast of Yakushima Island, Kagoshima Prefecture.

U.S. National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby said in a press conference on Thursday, “We won’t let them back into the air until we know that we can do it with a measure of certainty.” He added that the inspections will be conducted as expeditiously and safely as possible.

A U.S. Defense Department spokesperson, Sabrina Singh, said in a press conference on Thursday that each branch of the military has been conducting separate operational safety reviews on Ospreys. After that is completed, they will decide on a timeline for resuming flight operations in close coordination with the Defense Department’s V-22 Joint Program Office.

Singh also said that her department “will continue to work with [the Japanese government] on sharing information and safety procedures during the investigation [of the crash].”