Investigation Rules Out Enemy Fire, Brownout as Possible Causes for the CV-22 Crash in Afghanistan

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A CV-22 like the one seen in the photo above, operating with the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) crashed in Afghanistan in April 2010 killing three crew members and a passenger. A U.S. Air Force investigation ruled enemy fire as a possible cause of the crash. Photo: U.S. Air Force.

The CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft that crashed in Qalat, Afghanistan on April 8, 2010 was not hit by enemy fire, an Air Force Investigation has ruled out hostile action or brownout as possible causes of the crash. However, the investigation could not find a definitive cause for the fatal crash, in absence of data from the flight incident recorder (the ‘black box’) that was destroyed in the crash.

A CV-22 like the one seen in the photo above, operating with the U.S. Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) crashed in Afghanistan in April 2010 killing three crew members and a passenger. A U.S. Air Force investigation ruled enemy fire as a possible cause of the crash. Photo: U.S. Air Force.

The investigation cited several factors that could have contributed to the crash, but none are conclusive to be the only cause. The investigation rejected enemy fire or brownout as a possible causes but mentioned that insufficient in-flight and pre-flight procedures could have added to the cause, as well as poorly executed low-visibility approach with a tailwind, an unanticipated high rate of descent and engine power loss as possible causes. Inadequate weather planning and overall crew’s push to accomplish their first combat mission could also be contributing factors.

Killed in the crash were pilot Maj. Randy Voas, 43, flight engineer Senior Master Sgt. James Lackey, 45, both assigned to Hurlburt Field, Fla., Army Cpl. Michael D. Jankiewicz, 23, of Fort Benning, Ga., and a contractor who has not been identified.

Related pages: CV-22 Osprey tilt-rotor aircraft in Afghanistan