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News >  Military

Navy orders safety pause for aircraft after deadly California crashes

June 12, 2022 Updated Sun., June 12, 2022 at 5:11 p.m.

Aviation boatswain's mates chock and chain an MV-22B Osprey in an August 2014 file image. On Wednesday, an MV-22B Osprey aircraft conducting routine flight training crashed near Glamis, Calif., just north of the Mexican border, killing all five Marines onboard, the Marine Corps said.  (MC1 Dustin Kelling)
Aviation boatswain's mates chock and chain an MV-22B Osprey in an August 2014 file image. On Wednesday, an MV-22B Osprey aircraft conducting routine flight training crashed near Glamis, Calif., just north of the Mexican border, killing all five Marines onboard, the Marine Corps said. (MC1 Dustin Kelling)
By Annabelle Timsit Washington Post

The U.S. Naval Air Forces has ordered a one-day “safety pause” for its aircraft after a string of crashes in California this month led to the deaths of a Navy pilot and five Marines.

The pause will come into effect Monday and affect all Navy aviation units that are not deployed, the Naval Air Forces said Saturday in a news release.

“As a result of recent crashes involving U.S. Navy and Marine Corps aircraft, Commander, Naval Air Forces has directed all non-deployed Navy aviation units to conduct a safety pause on June 13 in order to review risk-management practices and conduct training on threat and error-management processes,” it said.

Deployed units will do the same as soon as possible, it added.

“In order to maintain the readiness of our force, we must ensure the safety of our people remains one of our top priorities,” Cmdr. Zachary Harrell, public affairs officer for the Naval Air Forces, told the Los Angeles Times.

A Navy pilot was killed on June 3 when the fighter jet he was flying as part of a routine training mission crashed in a remote, unpopulated area of the Mojave Desert in Southern California, the Navy said.

The incident was being investigated as of June 5, it added.

On Wednesday, an MV-22B Osprey aircraft conducting routine flight training crashed near Glamis, Calif., just north of the Mexican border, killing all five Marines onboard, the Marine Corps said.

The service members ranged in age from 19 to 33.

The Marine Corps said Saturday in a news release that it was investigating the fatal crash, which it labeled a “mishap,” defined by the Naval Postgraduate School as “any unplanned event that results in personal injury or property damage.”

And on Thursday, a Navy helicopter – an MH-60S Seahawk – that was carrying four crew members “crashed near El Centro, Calif. while conducting a routine training flight,” the Naval Air Forces said.

All those onboard survived, but one crew member was injured and taken to a hospital. The Navy said it was investigating the incident.

The Washington Post reported that the safety record of the MV-22B Osprey has come under renewed scrutiny after four Marines were killed in March while onboard one that crashed during a NATO training exercise in Norway.

More than 40 people have died flying on Ospreys since 1991, the Post reported.

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