October 6, 2022

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The photo was taken seconds before the crash – NRK Nordland

In March, the USMC MC-22B Osprey crashed.

The plane with the codename “Ghost 31”, He was out of training in connection with the “cold response” exercise. Four people died.

The investigation concluded that the cause was pilot error.

The pilot’s actions during the flight, or failure to take action, were the direct cause of the accident, and she says:

In the released material, it also appears that she was filmed with a special video camera during the flight.

«A crew member used an unauthorized GoPro video recorder during the mission and in the time frame just before the crash‘, she says.

The video is without sound, and therefore cannot be determined «The extent to which the unauthorized device affects the flight crew’s decision-making process‘, he says as well.

Visibility was eight kilometers

The video was filmed 12 minutes 30 seconds before the accident.

He provided important information in connection with the investigation.

The video shows, among other things, that there is more than eight kilometers of visibility and that there is scattered cloud cover. So the assessment was that the weather was good enough for the expedition:

«GoPro footage recovered clearly shows that despite bad weather earlier in the flight, this was not a significant factor near the crash site.».

According to a press release, the accident was the result of a series of low-altitude maneuvers across Gråtådalen.

  • We note in particular the sharp turn to the left at an angle of 68 degrees.
  • The turn was corrected with a right turn exceeding 80 degrees from which the aircraft could not recover.
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For comparison, it says that an aircraft of this type can withstand a maximum tilt of 60 degrees.

Timeline of the Osprey accident

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– Comprehensive report

The Norwegian Air Force’s special advisor is Rolf Leyland.

He read the report which he described as comprehensive. He says the pilots were training for low-flying when the accident happened.

Rolf Leyland, special advisor to the Norwegian Air Force.

Photo: private

– They were supposed to try to follow the river through the valley. Then they seem to make a powerful maneuver to avoid hitting the mountainside. They were only 10 meters from the mountainside, and the maneuverability meant that they had to move the plane further than it was designed for.

Then they had to do another maneuver to correct the first, and not crash into the terrain on the other side of the relatively narrow and winding valley.

– The plane was on its way to the height, but it rose so slightly that it could not avoid hitting the higher ground.

He says the report discusses GoPro’s private use on board.

It appears that the in-house rules of the Marine Corps do not allow the use of special GoPro cameras on board, which may have been made for debriefing purposes – but thanks to the camera itself, the US military has formed a good overview of what happened.

There was a lot of talk about bad weather in connection with the accident, as a change in weather occurred shortly after the accident. The pictures show that at one point the vision shrank a bit, but that vision was fine when the problems arose.

NRK has sent questions about GoPro-related internal rules to the US Marine Corps, and will update the matter when answers become available.

We must learn from mistakes

This is a tragic incident that it is important to learn from.

A man in military uniform sits reclining on a green chair at an office.

Yengve Odlo is Head of Operations Headquarters for the Norwegian Armed Forces.

Photo: Synnøve Sundby Fallmyr / NRK

When it comes to accidents like this, three factors come into play, he says:

– It’s vHonor, technical error, or personal error. Here it is concluded that it is a personal error. I’m glad it was made tangible, so we can learn from those mistakes.

– These are experienced soldiers. Do we expect such big accidents to happen in such big exercises?

– Yes I think so. This type of activity of this magnitude at that time of year will always be associated with risk. We cannot remove it.

The fact that we have experienced staff also shows the importance of our regular practice and training. Specifically to be able to control these winter conditions.