posted on Dec, 3 2016 @ 06:05 PM
On April 8, 2000 a V-22 on a night training mission in Marana Arizona, carrying 17 Marines was descending to land, when it flipped on its back, and
crashed, killing everyone on board. The cause of the accident was put down as human error, placing the blame on the pilots. The widows of Maj Brooks
Gruber, and Lt. Col John Brow began petitioning to have the accident report reviewed, and finally succeeded. In March of this year, Deputy Secretary
of Defense Robert Work issued a letter stating that while the human errors couldn't be overlooked, the accident chain that caused the crash, made
this accident, or one like it inevitable.
The night of the mission, the aircraft was to insert 17 Marines on a simulated hostage rescue mission in Marana, then extract them back to their
launch base. As the flight progressed, the lead aircraft suffered a computer failure. The crew came in high, and began a descent that was too steep,
causing the rotors to stall at 200 feet. This resulted in the aircraft rolling over and crashing. The initial press release, in addition to several
problems cited, stated “Unfortunately, the pilots’ drive to accomplish that mission appears to have been the fatal factor”. The media picked it
up and ran with it.
After being reviewed, it was found that while the pilots failed to descend to the proper altitude, and descended too steeply, the primary factors were
inadequate guidelines for descent rates at low forward speeds, an inadequate airspeed indication system, inadequate testing to that point, and poor
and inadequate information in the manual about the problems they had prior to the mishap. Shortly after this the aircraft underwent a major design
revision and changes were made, in part because of this accident.
The U.S. Marine Corps was wrong to say the pilots’ actions were the main cause of a crash that killed the two men and 17 others when their V-22
Osprey flipped and hit the ground during training in Arizona nearly 16 years ago, a defense official says.
Deputy Secretary of Defense Robert O. Work released a letter last week citing all the causes of the accident, finally clearing the names of Maj.
Brooks Gruber and Lt. Col. John Brow. Gruber, 34, was co-pilot on the flight, and Brow, 39, was the pilot.
“We’re just so happy. Just overjoyed and delighted,” said Gruber’s widow, Connie Gruber, whose fight to erase the blemish on her husband’s
military service lasted longer than the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. “It’s just been years and years, and finally, it was just about finding
someone who cares about the truth.”
Connie Gruber still lives in Jacksonville with her daughter, Brooke, who was an infant when her father was killed. Gruber enlisted the help of Trish
Brow, John Brow’s widow, and U.S. Rep. Walter Jones, whose district includes Camp Lejeune and who says the matter became for him a spiritual quest