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HOME  > Past issues  > 2017 February 8 - 14  > Osprey checklist indicates potential risk of catastrophe during air-refueling
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2017 February 8 - 14 [US FORCES]

Osprey checklist indicates potential risk of catastrophe during air-refueling

February 10, 2017
A pocket checklist on a U.S. MV-22 Osprey which crashed into the waters off Okinawa’s Nago City at the end of 2016 drifted onto a beach 18 km away from the crash site. Akahata recently obtained the photographed document in question which indicates that Osprey aerial-refueling could lead to a catastrophe.

The Osprey checklist covers every procedure, including emergencies, and is carried by each Osprey flight crew. The latest Osprey crash happened during a night-time mid-air refueling drill.

The checklist warns about the possibility that in aerial refueling, an aerial tanker’s refueling hose or other parts could touch the Osprey body. It explains connection hose “guillotine” in the event of stuck during in-flight refueling. The document states, “If a tiltrotor is unable to disconnect from the tanker during aerial refueling,” it should “position the aerial refueling probe directly inline with tanker refueling hose to prevent an off center disconnect.” It went on to warn that this measure may create FOD (foreign object damage) that “could strike a proprotor” and that that impact “could be catastrophic.”

This warning can be interpreted to mean that the Osprey in-flight refueling procedure could result in a crash.

Shindo Ken’inchi is a photo journalist who photographed the checklist. In an article in the February 3 and February 10 issues of the weekly news magazine Shukan Kinyobi, he referred to an Akahata article reporting that one of the crashed Osprey crew was missing. He said that as shown in the resumption of Osprey flights and mid-air refueling drills before the cause of the crash was determined, the U.S. military’s operations take priority over Okinawans’ safety.

Past related articles:
> Okinawa governor condemns restarting of US Ospreys’ air refueling drills [January 6, 2017]
> ‘Be thankful’ remark by top US military officer fuels Okinawans’ anger [December 15&16, 2016]
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