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Two Airmen Hurt in Osprey Crash Released

HURLBURT FIELD -- Two of the five airmen injured when a CV-22 Osprey crashed Wednesday night were out of the hospital Friday, according to the base

Maj. Brian Luce and Tech. Sgt. Christopher Dawson have been released Eglin Hospital, where they were taken after the crash on Eglin Air Force Base's reservation.

Capt. Brett Cassidy, Staff Sgt. Sean McMahon and Tech. Sgt. Edilberto Malave were in stable condition at Sacred Heart Hospital in Pensacola on Friday.

The tiltrotor Osprey, which is assigned to the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, went down and caught fire about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday near Eglin's A-78 gunnery range.

Luce, one of the pilots, also was a co-pilot in the deadly CV-22 Osprey crash in Afghanistan in April 2010, said Master Sgt. Kristina Newton, a spokeswoman for Hurlburt.

Although base officials previously said other Ospreys under the Air Force Special Operations Command would resume flying this week, they decided to delay flights until Tuesday to continue to care for the families of the injured airmen, said Amy Oliver, a spokeswoman for the 1st SOW.

All other regular operations resumed Friday for Hurlburt's 8th Special Operations Squadron, she said.

Col. Jim Slife, the commander of the 1st SOW, declined to speculate on the cause of the crash during a press conference Thursday. He said no information would be released until the investigations wrap up.

Air Force officials began a safety investigation Thursday. After that is completed, an accident investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the crash, Newton said.

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