On Saturday, a US Navy Osprey ditched into the sea off the coast of Queensland and sank. The plane was coming for a landing on the aircraft carrier Uss Reagan with 26 Marines on board after a live exercise. The weather was clear and the sea calm, yet for some inexplicable reason, the plane could not land on the carrier’s deck but ditched into the sea in full view of the warships. Rescue operations immediately commenced and 23 soldiers were rescued but three Marines could not be saved and it is presumed they have died. The Navy continued a search for the bodies but after 24 hours, there was no option but to call off the search.

The next of kin of the Marines have been informed and the U.S. President Donald Trump apprised of the incident. This news was reported by CNN International.

The exercise

The Osprey, which means an eagle is a plane, has attributes of both a fixed wing plane as well as a helicopter. The plane has two rotors at the extremities of its wings, that give it lift capability and it can land and take off like a helicopter. This Osprey had been transported from its base at Okinawa in Japan for the exercise, along with the Australian Navy. The exercise was one of the many conducted by the US Navy as a method to keep it battle hardy. The U.S. Navy has just ended a massive exercise with the Indian and Japanese Navy in the Bay of Bengal.

After the completion of this exercise, the U.S. Navy was carrying out another exercise along with the Australian Navy.The aircraft which ditched into the sea was carrying out assigned tasks as part of drills when it crashed.The Osprey had no floats and as such sank immediately.

Inquiry and the future

The Navy has ordered an inquiry into the incident but it can only be completed once the wreckage of the plane is retrieved from the Ocean bed.

The Navy will shortly begin operations to retrieve the plane. The crash of the plane is, however, a matter of worry for the top brass as losing men in combat is considered part of the hazard of the job, but deaths during routine exercises are not the best way to boost morale.

Last word.

The causalities were all American and the Australian defense minister has said that no Australian was killed.

The DM has spoken to General Mattis, who is a battle hardened veteran. He will be investigating how to obviate such accidents that lead to deaths in routine exercises. As an aviator; I find the crash difficult to digest as it shows that perhaps the mishap took place because of pilot error.