NAVAIR Clears V-22 Osprey for Return to Flight

An airman assigned to the 1st Special Operations Squadron oversees the aerial refueling of a CV-22 Osprey during a training mission as part of Freedom Shield 23 over the Sea of Japan, March 17, 2023. (Image: Air Force Senior Airman Trevor Gordnier.)

The U.S. Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) has cleared the tiltrotor V-22 Osprey to return to flight.

The aircraft have been grounded since Dec. 6, 2023. That followed the crash of an Air Force V-22 Osprey off the coast of Japan that killed eight airmen on Nov. 29, 2023. That incident was preceded by another involving an Osprey crash in Australia that killed three Marines.

"This decision follows a meticulous and data-driven approach prioritizing the safety of our aircrews," a Navy official said.

Lifting the grounding means the Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force can return the aircraft to service.

The Navy grounded the aircraft when Air Force officials investigating the Japan crash found "a materiel failure of a V-22 component." Officials used the time to do a thorough review of the mishap and test risk-mitigation controls. Investigations into what caused the Australia and Japan incidents are still ongoing.

All of the services worked together to ensure the aircraft is safe, officials said during a call with reporters. They would not identify the component that failed, but they said the processes they put in place will allow a safe return to flight.

The services all have different processes in returning the aircraft to the skies. "Maintenance and procedural changes have been implemented to address the materiel failure that allow for a safe return to flight," the Naval Air Systems Command official said.