A Marine MV-22 Osprey experienced a "mishap" during a landing aboard the amphibious transport dock USS New Orleans on Wednesday, Marine officials said.
The aircraft, part of Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 166 (Reinforced) out of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, California, had been participating in non-combat evacuation training off the coast of Camp Pendleton. The training was part of a certification exercise to prepare the 13th Marine Expeditionary Unit for an upcoming deployment to the Pacific and Middle East early next year. The squadron will deploy with the unit.
A spokesman for the 13th MEU, Capt. Brian "Scott" Villiard, told Military.com that the 22 passengers and four crew members aboard the Osprey during the mishap were unharmed. No one aboard the ship was injured either, he said. The damage to the aircraft will be determined by an investigation. The circumstances surrounding the mishap are unclear, and Villiard declined to elaborate ahead of the investigation.
"Some reporting has stated the aircraft experienced a 'hard landing,' which is a premature description," Villiard said in an email. "Further details will be provided as they become available."
Officials with the squadron are investigating the incident.
The Marines reported two previous mishaps involving Ospreys in the last year-and-a-half. Last May, an Osprey sustained a hard landing during a training exercise in Marine Corps Training Area Bellows, Hawaii. Two troops were killed and 20 more were injured in the incident.
And in October 2014, an Osprey that had been started in "maintenance mode" began to lose power after takeoff and had to return to ship. One of the two crew chiefs who bailed out of the aircraft was lost at sea.