View Full Version : 60 minutes on the V-22

07-08-2002, 10:46 AM
Last night, the "news" show "60 minutes" did a piece on the V-22 Osprey. As is often the case, they only told one side of the story clearly, and in their meager attempt to show both sides, they tempered it by saying that the Congressman who they were interviewing wants the V-22 to proceed because they build it in his state. They got one of the initial test pilots on who walked away from a crash of the V-22, and the only comments they aired of his were that the V-22 was not an excellent fixed wing nor an excellent helicopter. The truth is that the aircraft is neither a fixed wing nor a helicopter. It is a tilt-rotor, and that is all it will ever be.

They showed emotional testimony from the parents and family members of Marines who died in V-22 crashes and they said that no more Marines should die in V-22's. They are correct in their statement that no more Marines should die. Test pilots should be flying the aircraft and passengers should be simulated with non-human weight until the aircraft problems are fixed. The problem is that the families blame the aircraft design for the deaths and not the people who made these things happen.

Case in point: The Mirana, Arizona crash where the pilot got the aircraft into an excessive rate of descent and crashed. If you get ANY rotary wing aircraft into an excessive rate of descent, at near zero airspeed, the aircraft will crash. That is not an exclusive V-22 problem. It is a problem for rotary wing aircraft across the board. It is unsafe to get a rotary wing aircraft into a rate of descent beyond 300 Feet per minute (FMP) at near zero airspeed. This case was one where the pilot allowed rates of descent to excess 3900 FPM. That is well over 10 times the minimum descent rate where it becomes unsafe. Is this the fault of the aircraft?

It has been exposed that the Marine Lt. Col. in charge of the program has said to lie about the readiness level of the V-22 to make is sound better until a phase 3 decision was made concerning the full scale production of the aircraft. He has since been punished by the Marine Corps for his actions. Again, is this the fault of the aircraft design? Or did this individual keep problems from the awareness of the builders, which could have been analyzed and taken care of in a timely manner?

Every new design will have flaws that take time to fix. Sometimes the "fix" is as simple as "Don't do that". The UH-1 Huey has had a limitation from "negative G" maneuvers since it was created. The problem is that in a negative G environment, the rotor system will excessively flap causing separation of the blades from the aircraft. Does this mean the aircraft is unsafe? No. It is one of the safest helicopters ever made. It just can't do negative G maneuvers. In the V-22, the pilots must know not to get into excessive descent rates with low airspeed. Just as the Huey can not do negative G's, the V-22 can not descend at excessive rates (and neither can the Huey).

I have personally done a lot of research and study on this aircraft and the crashes they have had. It bothers me that the so-called "news" programs who bash the aircraft are more interested in sensationalism and self promotion than they are about the truth. Temper your thoughts about the aircraft with information, not sensation.

If you want more truthful detailed information about the V-22 from someone who has nothing to gain or lose by its production, then visit my web site:



07-11-2002, 02:53 PM
Thanks, Glenn, for the info. I have never read anything in the mainstream news about the rate of descent limitation on the Osprey....it figures. For some reason there is a lot of pressure to kill the aircraft (no pun intended).

I think the control technology advance to build the Osprey will carry on the to future aircraft so it hasn't been a waste...plus it is just a cool airplane. I'd ride in it.

I'd love to see it at Reno.


07-11-2002, 03:08 PM
Unless I'm remembering wrong, wasn't the Harrier also on a "black list" as a widomaker whan the Marines started using it?

Then with proper training and "don't do this's" they now use it with great success and a good safety record..


07-19-2002, 06:26 AM
Many aircraft have been on the "Black List"...including the UH-60 "Black Rock"..."Lawn Dart"..."Crash Hawk"...as we called them in flight school. Soon enough, they worked the bugs out and the aircraft is as safe as any other aircraft.

Unfortunatly, people with some financial gain as their motive will always attack the makers of the aircraft, and the aircraft itself as being "Unsafe"...so they can file their lawsuit and make their millions. God forbid they try to work and earn their money. They have instead bought into the "New American Dream" that a lawyer and a jury can make for you what your lack of education and determination have left you without. Hey, why not spill coffee on your lap and sue McDonalds instead of going to work for a living?

Oh well, it is time to get my table..."Bitter", party of one please....