Osprey Downdraft: MV-22 Wounds 10 at NYC Fleet Week

by Craig Hooper on May 31, 2010

I’ll post more on the unfortunate MV-22 NY Fleet Week accident (downdraft from an incoming Osprey blew down tree limbs that, in turn, wounded spectators–the videos here are great) in a bit, but I just wanted to remind people that the strong MV-22 downdraft is an important limitation–and, as such, it leads to operational issues (issues that, quite frankly, somebody overlooked today in NYC).

I’ve written about one potential downdraft problem here.

The Marine Corps and MV-22 program is lucky nobody got seriously hurt.  Given the high-profile nature of the event and the fact the Osprey has caused urban chaos before (watch this video from this Kentucky neighborhood’s downdraft experience), I’m rather shocked the Marine in charge of the event failed to account for that risk. Why aren’t the lessons of prior experience–in Iraq, Haiti and in the US–getting learned by MV-22 operators?

But one lesson is becoming clearer than ever: Using the Osprey in a disaster or an urban area is gonna be tougher than the Marine Corps imagined.

At least this time, with the accident occurring in front of the news cameras, the Corps will A) have a harder time sweeping the incident under the rug and 2) since it can’t be swept

under the carpet, the Marine Corps will be able to use this as a teachable moment.



Anathema June 3, 2010 at 4:29 pm


PM me at SB, we can talk.

Craig Hooper June 3, 2010 at 12:45 pm

Oh yeah (insert cynical eye roll here), ain’t that the truth….but, with that $$$-seeking caveat aside, these were people up nice and early for a memorial day function. I’d wager they, as a group, are less likely to engage in the “ouch I hurt myself” type of litigation. But one of ’em was a vet in his seventies (?), so, you know, I’d look for an excuse to strap him to a backboard and transpo with the lights and sirens…just to insure the preservation of a precious historical resource, you know?

Also helped to have instantaneous response there. Kinda limits the opportunities for freeloading.

@Anathema–with 6599 posts to your name over at sailorbob.com, I’d hope you’d feel sufficient fulfillment with your own web 2.0 business. Fess up. What’s your beef? And identify yourself!

John June 3, 2010 at 12:02 pm

As a paramedic, I wouldn’t put much credence in those “injuries”. The majority of the people transported to the hospital and “treated and released” probably had little to no injury. “Precautionary” is EMS for CYA from lawsuit. As soon as these folks felt the winds and a leaf hit them, you can bet the $$$ started appearing before their eyes. When they find out they can’t sue the Marine Corps, wait for the suit against the city. This happens every day when a bus makes a sudden stop-you have people jumping on the bus after it stops to claim they were injured in the “crash”.

Anathema June 3, 2010 at 4:46 am

Craig, Craig, Craig…I’m “in the closet” because that’s what YOU taught me (and a generation of others like me) to do. You really don’t have any idea the harm you caused the blogosphere, do you? The multiple alias thing is another trick I learned from Defense, DS, Guest, and Anonymous. AKA – You.

That said…I don’t get the “serious and professional” charge when all I did was take issue with your overuse of the word “wounded” when “injured” would have worked just as well. It might be a “quibble”, but I don’t see how it’s unprofessional. As for “un-serious” – I prefer “light hearted”. I do find an odd sort of irony with you calling me “unprofessional”.

As for the “stay over at your own place” – you could just keep blocking URLs like you already have for one of my computers. Not that you’d want to stifle dissent or anything like that.

Anyway, as I mentioned in comments some time back…we have a bit of unfinished business, that I was hoping was soon to come to an agreeable close…but you managed to show your Springboard colors recently, so I guess I’ll just hang around for a while.

Just remember – it’s not “what” you are saying that riles so many folks up. It’s “how”…

Craig Hooper June 2, 2010 at 9:38 pm

Reader survey: How many aliases does Anathema use on this 2010 thread?


Anathema, seriously–In future, be serious and professional or stay over at your own place…And, speaking of aliases, maybe try putting aside the pen name and coming out of the closet, ok?

That, um…might give readers a bit of a glimpse into just why you’ve been spamming me for…what? Two years now?

Anathema June 2, 2010 at 8:38 pm

Uh, I never implied that no one was hurt. Just pushed back against the overblown rhetoric of “wounded” and quoted an article linked from the post here.

It’s a shame you walked back into your old habits of blowing things all out of proportion. It really takes away from the times you write good stuff.

Oh, and Craig – if you want to throw stones at me, at least do it as “you”. The multiple aliases is so last year.

Anathema is an idiot June 1, 2010 at 7:29 pm

Navy: “Seven people were taken to a hospital and were released later Monday, Navy officials said in a statement.”
NYFD: “Three other people refused medical attention for their injuries, firefighters said.”


Anathema June 1, 2010 at 7:21 pm

Dr. Hooper: “wounded”
NY Press: “cuts and scrapes”

A little overblown rhetoric, eh?

CT_Woods June 1, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Curiously, this incident drew little no notice in the NY area press. Certainly nothing in the NY Times, the alleged newspaper of records. Have scanned the pages of the edition I get here in the woods, and searched their website. NADA. So maybe this is a biggish deal in blogger land, but not so much in the “media capitol of The World”.
Now just for fun, here is what one MIT student woke up to a few weeks back, during Marine Week in Boston. (Note: better planned approach – no trees):
And here, the display and departure:

Craig Hooper June 1, 2010 at 12:03 pm

Ain’t that the truth….However, you’ve gotta account that, in the Osprey, the thrust is coming from a smaller, more concentrated force (i.e. the proprotors), so, when that downdraft hits something, it hits hard and hot.

The CH-53 has a larger area (a larger rotor) to play with–which means, overall, you experience less downward force per unit area.

That’s why you hear about the Osprey kicking up and beating up AM-2 matting…while the CH-53…not so much.

USNVO June 1, 2010 at 2:15 am

Its not just the Osprey, the CH-53E makes a hurricane force downdraft as well, especially with a load, and the CH-53K will be even worse. Simple physics say that anything heavy that is landing vertically makes a huge downdraft. Clearly, someone forgot that in this case.

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