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Loose Bolts Grounded Ospreys; Fix Underway

All 84 Ospreys were temporarily grounded following the discovery March 21 of four loose bolts in a V-22 in Iraq.

“This is a temporary grounding bulletin issued strictly as a precautionary measure," NavAir's V-22 spokesman Mike Welding said Tuesday evening.

“If one of those came lose in flight, the worst case scenario you would lose control of the affected prop rotor,” he said, adding that no planes had been affected in flight. “Our priority first and foremost is safety.”

Four planes have had problems with the bolts, which help control the prop rotors. Two of those planes are back in the air, Welding said. The repairs take two days, he said.

All the affected planes are in Iraq, he said, adding that the cause of the loose bolts is not entirely clear yet and investigations are proceeding to figure out why they came loose.

The Marines expect the “red stripe” notice “ issued on March 23 to have a minimal impact on operations,” said Maj. Eric Dent, a Marine spokesman in Washington. Although all 84 Ospreys are being checked, the inspection takes roughly two hours, Dent said, so most planes should be back in the air pretty quickly.

Welding said that as of Tuesday evening 62 planes had been checked so far. The hope is that all the planes will be back in duty by Wednesday, he said.

New procedures are being put in place to make sure the problem does not recur, Welding said.

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