KAILUA, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - A MV-22 Osprey crash at Bellows Air Force Station that killed two U.S. Marines was caused by pilot performance and an improper survey of the landing zone, according to an investigation released Monday by the Marines.
While the aircraft was landing, dust and sand particles caused the left engine to stall, resulting in a loss of power that led to the aircraft's free fall, the investigation revealed. Specifically, the engine percent power decreased on both engines each time the aircraft entered a low-altitude hover over the landing zone as the dust and sand particles picked up.
The pilots did not violate any regulations or flight standards; however, a proper risk assessment should have prompted the pilots to choose an alternate flight profile, path or landing site that would have minimized or avoided visibility restrictions.
The aircraft had 22 people on board when it went down May 17. According to the military, the crash killed two Marines, Matt Determan and Joshua Barron.