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Widows Win Battle To Clear Marine Pilots In Osprey Flight Test Accident

DoD Admits That It Is Not Possible To 'Determine A Single Cause' In The 2000 Accident

The U.S. Department of Defense has cleared two Marine Corps pilots in an accident in which 19 people were fatally injured during evaluation of the MV-22 Osprey in 2000.

Test pilots Lt. Col. John Brow and Maj. Brooks Gruber were flying the aircraft during an exercise in Arizona when it went down in the desert. All 19 on board were fatally injured in the accident.

The Marine Corps and DoD initially placed responsibility for the accident on the two pilots. The aircraft at the time was controversial, and many, including then-Defense Secretary Dick Cheney were trying to kill the program.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the pilots were saddled with the blame for the crash until U.S. Congressman Walter B. Jones (R-NC) took up the cause of the widows of the two pilots.

In February, nearly 16 years after the accident occurred, retired Marine officer and now Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert Work wrote a letter saying "it’s impossible to point to a single ‘fatal factor’ that caused this crash."

The Marine Corps in a statement only acknowledged the loss of life in the accident. "This was a tragic event that occurred nearly 16 years ago, and we continue to mourn the loss of our Marines, as we have every day since the event," Marine Corps HQ said in a news release.

(Image from file)

FMI: www.marines.mil


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