Coming Soon? V-22 Osprey “extremely noisy with a horrific racket”

Coming soon to Mokapu and Pohakuloa?

Thanks to Satoko Norimatsu of the Peace Philosophy Centre for sharing these articles.


V-22 Osprey “extremely noisy with a horrific racket”


Okinawan newspapers on January 27 reported that the residents of Brewton, Alabama complained about the noise caused by the V-22 Osprey used in the US Air Force training mission at their municipal airport, and the Air Force offered apology and told the local airport authority that the squadron will not come back. “Those aircraft are extremely noisy with an horrific racket,” the airport director is quoted in the local news (see below).

It is disturbing news for Okinawa, as USMC is planning to deploy Ospreys in Henoko and Takae, two places in Northern Okinawa where military expansion is planned despite the opposition from local residents. Okinawans are worried, not just about their noise, but about the reported risk of accidents by Ospreys. A recent Pentagon report (below) also indicated the continuing unreliability of the aircraft due to “cracking or prematurely failing hinges and access doors, engine and drive components within the nacelle structure, flight control system failures, wiring and swashplate actuators.” The aircraft killed thirty people during the course of development, and killed four in a crash in Afghanistan in April 2010.

In late December, a US helicopter hovered over and damaged the protesters’ tent in Takae, where US/Japan are planning to build six new helipads (Osprey-capable) surrounding a residential area, but the authorities have not even confirmed that it was a US Marine helicopter
that did it. It is unacceptable that a plan to use noisy and dangerous aircraft like V-22 Osprey is not properly disclosed to local residents and there has been no assessment of risks associated with Ospreys in the environmental assessments on both places.

Satoko Norimatsu
Peace Philosophy Centre, Vancouver
Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus
UBC Education/Centre for the Study of Historical Consciousness


Textron-Boeing V-22 Still Dogged By Bad Parts, Tester Says

January 12, 2011, 3:53 PM EST By Tony Capaccio

Jan. 12 (Bloomberg) — The V-22 tilt-rotor Osprey, five years after it was cleared for full-production, remains dogged by unreliable parts that reduce its availability for missions, according to the Pentagon’s top tester.

The Textron Inc. and Boeing Co. V-22, in its most recent testing to evaluate upgrades, was available only 57 percent of the time it was required to fly, rather than the specification of 82 percent, according to a new report by Michael Gilmore, the Pentagon’s director of operational test and evaluation. The testing took place between May and July 2009.
“Major contributors to this low mission capable rate included cracking or prematurely failing hinges and access doors, engine and drive components within the nacelle structure, flight control system failures, wiring and swashplate actuators,” which help the main rotors turn, the report said.
“Mission-capable rate” is a standard standard metric for aircraft combat reliability.
Gilmore assessed that when the aircraft was flying it “met or exceeded” all but one reliability and maintenance requirement.
The aircraft “demonstrated effectiveness in a wide range of approved high-altitude scenarios reflecting current Marines Corps operations,” wrote Gilmore, in a section on the V-22 in the annual report from the testing unit issued today.
The Pentagon test office and U.S. Government Accountability Office have consistently highlighted problems with V-22 parts since 2000. The V-22 is a fixed-wing plane with rotors that tilt so it can take off and land like a helicopter.
Bell Helicopter Textron spokesman William Schroeder and Naval Air Systems Command spokesman Victor Chen had no immediate comment on the test report because they had not seen it.
Gilmore recommended that the Marines and Air Force, which is buying a version for to fly U.S. commandos, “aggressively continue integrated development and testing” to improve the aircraft’s braking system, engine and drive-train reliability.
The V-22 has been deployed to Iraq and is in Afghanistan, where it transported Defense Secretary Robert Gates during a March 2010 trip.
Congress through fiscal 2010 has approved spending $32 billion on the $52.8 billion program. The Navy plans to spend $20 billion more on upgrades and the purchase of the remaining planes in the 458-aircraft program for the Marine Corps and Air Force Special Operations Command.
The program was approved for full-production in September 2005 after four years of additional development to demonstrate it overcame a host of deficiencies, including problems with its design, safety and reliability uncovered after two crashes in 2000 killed 23 Marines.
Maintenance Problems
The GAO in a June 2009 report that evaluated the V-22’s initial Iraq deployment concluded that, while the aircraft flew its assigned missions successfully, maintenance problems left the planes available for flight at rates “significantly below minimum required levels.”
During three periods studied during the V-22’s deployment from October 2007 through April 2009, the planes were available for combat operations on average 68 percent, 57 percent and 61 percent of the time, “while the minimum requirement” is 82 percent, said the GAO.
These low rates “were not unique to the Iraq deployment” and were on par with other V-22 squadrons in the U.S., the GAO said.

–Editor: Terry Atlas, Steven Komarow

To contact the reporter on this story: Tony Capaccio at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Silva at


Military plane made noise over Brewton

Published 11:30am Saturday, January 22, 2011

The crew from “Unsolved Mysteries” won’t be coming to Brewton to investigate strange rumblings heard across the area Wednesday night.

Brewton Municipal Airport Director Earl Lambert said the noises heard throughout the area can be attributed to the massive V22 Osprey — a twin rotor helicopter/airplane owned by the military.

“After hearing the machinery, we began to investigate the source,” Lambert said. “Our investigation lead us to the special ops unit from Hurlburt Field.”

Hurlburt Field, located near Fort  Walton Beach, Fla., is home to the Airforce Special Operations Command.

“I spoke to the commander of the squadron and explained their training would not be good since we have so many citizens that live in the area around the airport,” Lambert said. “Those aircraft are extremely noisy with an horrific racket.”

The Brewton Municipal Airport serves as a training area for units from Whiting Field near Milton, Fla., during the day.

“We have a 50-year agreement with the Navy, and you just can’t mix the two,” Lambert said. “It would be prohibitive for them to use the area during the day when it’s being used by the Navy, and it’s just too noisy at night.”

Lambert said a gentlemen’s agreement was reached between himself and the commander Friday that would bring the training missions to a halt.

“The commander offered an apology for any inconvenience their training may have caused in the community,” Lambert said. “He assured me the squadron would not be back in the area to train.”

The Brewton Municipal Airport is a non-controlled facility, meaning there is no air traffic control tower and no after-hours communications system.

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