Osprey hopes spring eternal

Osprey hopes spring eternal

FARNBOROUGH, England – The MV-22 Osprey is just getting started.

That was the optimistic line Monday from the big bird’s program manager, Marine Col. Greg Masiello, who told reporters at the air show here that it might not be long before the Osprey could take many more missions in more militaries.

Program officials are in talks with several potential foreign customers, though they won’t name names, and Masiello said he was “very positive” about a possible new domestic one – the U.S. Navy. It has always been a part of the wider program of record, he said, but it has just never funded its standing requirement for 48 aircraft. After a few recent flights at sea, the admirals may change their mind, officials hope.

An Osprey made its first carrier onboard delivery flight earlier this month to the USS Abraham Lincoln out on deployment in Central Command, Masiello said. And last month, it conducted a first-of-its kind simulated medical evacuation from the ballistic missile submarine USS Wyoming in the Atlantic. These and other exploits have gotten the Navy’s attention – or so program officials hope.

The thing is, they’ve been singing this tune for years. In the case of foreign military sales, we heard Masiello sing it at the Paris Air Show, where he also said many foreign powers were lining up, checkbooks open, to buy Ospreys. And in the case of the Navy, both it and the Army both were involved with the program years ago, but in a saga this old, and with such a circuitous history, who wasn’t planning to buy them at a certain point?

What’s different now, Masiello said, is that the Osprey is proving and re-proving itself every day. The Marines’ fleet is approaching 150,000 total flight hours, he said, and the Osprey’s demonstrated range, speed and utility aren’t PowerPoint bullets anymore – they’re a daily reality downrange.

But there’s no denying the Osprey remains a controversial aircraft. Two of them have crashed this year, and despite officials’ attempts to exonerate the aircraft involved (i.e., blame their pilots) many people still view the V-22 as dangerous. As you’ve read here, DoD is working overtime to mollify the leaders of Okinawa, who are afraid of the aircraft that will start flying off their island this fall.

Moreover, at about $66 million per copy, the V-22 is expensive compared to a traditional helicopter, and it has developed a reputation as a hangar queen – nickname: “the princess.” On Monday, Masiello anticipated reporters’ skepticism, saying the aircraft have good readiness rates and regularly take all assignments.

“I get questions like, ‘Are we babying this aircraft?’ Absolutely not,” he said. “I’m sure there are always going to be skeptics that exist, but it’s unfounded, in my opinion.”

People are going to think what they think, Masiello concluded, but his bottom line is that decision-makers get the facts about the Osprey and they like what they see. That could be why he’s so bullish on the Navy joining the club – because everyone in the fleet would benefit from an SV-22.

A naval Osprey can take as much or more cargo as the existing C-2 Greyhound carrier supply aircraft, Masiello said, and it can deliver it directly to every ship in the strike group. So instead of a COD trapping aboard the carrier and unloading cargo that has to be ferried by helicopter to the other ships in the group, an Osprey could take it directly to them.

“Some of the people that are the fondest of the V-22 are the supply officers on these ships,” Masiello said.

Also fond could be the sailors aboard ballistic missile subs. Masiello described a test last month in which an CV-22 flew from Cannon AFB, N.M. all the way out to the Wyoming at sea, and hovered over the ship to simulate pulling up an injured sailor.

Strategic Command asked to see if the Osprey could become a rescuer of last resort for the boomers after a sailor injured in a real accident died at sea. At the time there was no aircraft that could fly to meet his ship and also practically recover him. So even if the Navy does not actually buy its own Ospreys, the Marines and Air Force could find themselves on call in a pinch in support of the boomers’ “national mission.”

The Osprey that flew out to meet the Wyoming flew 2,600 nautical miles, Masiello said, with three in-flight refuelings and a total of 11.5 hours in the air. And just like in the big Air Force’s intercontinental missions, an Osprey can swap its crews, meaning that when it gets to its objective and has to go into its critical hover-and-perform routine, the pilot at the controls is relatively fresh.

Will all this be enough to actually hook the Navy or foreign customers we’re told are just around the corner? Masiello set down a marker: If everything goes well, we could see a FMS contract for Ospreys in 2013, he said. So when program officials brief at next year’s Paris Air Show, that may be the truest test of their hopes for expansion.

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” Masiello described a test last month in which an CV-22 flew from Cannon AFB, N.M. all the way out to the Wyoming at sea, and hovered over the ship to simulate pulling up an injured sailor”

They’ve tried to do pickups with a stokes litter and a hoist, it doesn’t work, not with those twin tornadoes beating the crap out of anyone and anything directly underneath them.

But in the spirit of showing what the V-22 can do, I hereby nominate Colonel Masiello to be the first ‘simulated casualty’ that they actually try to hoist into a hovering Osprey off a submarine. I doubt that anyone would be stupid enough to actually try that, but I don’t know, Maseillo might be the man for the job.…

They could always make it amphibious. Slap a big boat-like hull on it, like the old HH-3E Jolly Green Giant helicopters. :)

It’s ironic you would complain about the Osprey’s down draft. The CH 53 is known as the “hurricane maker”.

“They’ve tried to do pickups with a stokes litter and a hoist, it doesn’t work”

Here’s a video that says different (00:57 and on)… http://​www​.youtube​.com/​w​a​t​c​h​?​v​=​g​u​M​f​R​Y​h​v​RxI

Hoist and stokes ops aren’t easy. They aren’t any easier in a CH53.

I sense you’re bitter over the Pave Low’s replacement by the Osprey. The Osprey isn’t perfect but most of its disdvanteges are identical to the Pave Lows.

I just don’t understand how a USMC Colonel, the U.S. military’s (italicized) program manager, has any business giving a marketing pitch on behalf of Bell Boeing FMS. How can’t that cross the line?

It appears, at least to me, the answer seems to be getting well out of ground effect.
I would also venture to say, that the V-22 is not the optimal aircraft when planning to insert by fast-rope.

Agree, neither is the CH53.

He’s not. He’s promoting the role of the Osprey to other branches and allies. That’s what program mangers do. It promotes interoperability and brings costs down with more production. If it was “unprofessional” for any program manager to share his thoughts on a piece of equipment with other branches we wouldn’t have the Blackhawk in use by four branches. The M1 Abrams in use by two. The M4 in use by all.

The problem here is some hate the Osprey so badly they are willing to imply one officer is acting without integrity because of their prejudice against a weapon system. Evidence? Don’t see them bringing up the issue on the previous systems I mentioned…

The Navy can make due with helicopters. They already have the LCS, F-35C, and a broken ship building plan to deal with

I believe the marines still use the M-16 actucally.

Marines use both the M4 and M16. Just depends on what it is you do in the Marines that defines what you get.

charles beat me to it.


Funny, I must have done hundreds of stokes litter recoveries in MH-53J (and M-model), and probably thousands of fast rope inserts, to boats, buildings, daylight or NVGs, you name it. But I don’t remember any PJs or other team guys coming up to me later on and saying “Dude, that was way too much downdraft, we just can’t work with this helo”. I even did a few AIEs myself. Wasn’t the easiest downwash to handle, but nothing you can’t overcome with a little foresight.

On the other hand, I have watched the debacles at Hurlburt Field when they have tried to do fastrope training out of the CV-22s. They have to weigh the ropes down, so they don’t get blown straight off the tail at a 45 degree angle. So right there, the FE can’t pull the rope back in if something goes wrong. They also have to hover at some ridiculous height, just to stay out of ground effect, otherwise they’ll pummel and/or cook whoever winds up under the prop-rotors. And they keep burning the grass and setting fires in the LZs, not a real good quality in a SOF aviation platform, tends to let the enemy know what just landed there.

And rope ladders are a complete no-go. I knew an FE named Bud Dow when he had just finished being a test Flight Engineer up at Pax River back in 1998. They tried one rope ladder deployment and had to cut it loose after the rotorwash started corkscrewing it so bad, the bottom rung was disappearing under the nose and almost hitting the bottom of the nacelles. Never saw that happen in a Pave.

I also used to fly around with Toyota Tacomas in the back of a Pave (5th Group used to have a bunch of black ones in Djibouti and J-bad). Never seen the CV-22s carry anything with four wheels that the teams would actually use. We also used to stack two Zodiacs and 12 dudes in the back of a Pave and deploy those at 10 feet and 10 knots. Good luck trying that in a tilt-rotor.

So no, I don’t see how the CV-22 and Pave Low have the same disadvantages. The CV-22 flies about 80 to 100 knots faster than a Pave. That’s it. It can’t fly higher, the altitude completely kills any power margin a tilt-rotor might have. It definitely isn’t giving the ‘customers’ what they want, they pretty much hate the thing. Honestly, I’m just praying there are no more crashes that kill anyone I know. I already have three friends that have been killed by the V-22, I don’t need any more.

If I’m bitter, it ain’t because the Pave Low got replaced. The Pave was old, required too much maintenance and leaked hydraulic fluid on all my flight gear. But they could have replaced them with MH-47s, MH-60s, EH-101, anything that could 1) do team work and 2) not crash. Any bitterness I might have is a result of that ‘crashing’ part. That and all the flat-out lies I hear from colonels and generals when they talk to the press. Guess it would be too much to actually expect commissioned officers to tell the truth in a public forum.

United States Marketing Corps in action.

Was that device a stokes? I thought that stokes looked like this

The device in the video looked alot like a strop, but maybe it was just the camera angle.


Make do or make due?

What about the dozen Class As Marine Generals failed to report, as detailed here. http://​www​.g2mil​.com/​V​-​2​2​m​i​s​h​a​p​s​2​0​1​0​-​1​2​.​htm And the emergency landing at Wilmington NC yesterday was a Class A, the cross shaft tore up.

Watch the whole video especially the 2 min mark.

Chatting with my friends in the Ranger regiment and ODAs, fast roping out of a CH53 or an Osprey sucks. Whether the PJs told you or not is immaterial. Having plenty of time riding around in helicopters as a grunt I never told pilots about any of the uncomfortable variables of riding around in a helo or the experience of climbing into one of these under brownout or whiteout conditions. I’ve loaded on to a CH53 and CH47s with a fully loaded rucksack with gravel flying. It’s not a fun experience.

Rope ladder, granted. Not a deal breaker. Having climbed into and out of CH47 the rope ladder was ridiculously slow. Fires? When the grass is dry at hurlburt smoke grenades set it off. It’s an occupational hazard. Having a flying hurricane or tornado maker above you isn’t all that stealthy.

How is 100 knots not significant? 30 knots is significant when you can’t keep up with another aircraft. The Osprey also has longer range (you didn’t mention that).

Vehicles. The CH46 can’t carry any vehicles or deploy a zodiac either (which is the aircraft the V-22 is replacing). When it comes to inserting special ops, TF160 has had that responsibility since before the V-22 became operational.

I don’t doubt your experience with a CH53. I challenge your operational experience with the Osprey and judging its performance from the flightline or saying fastroping and stokes ops don’t “work” when they clearly do. We do expect commissioned officers to tell the truth. We also expect them to make knowledgeable statements especially in an open forum.

Not an Osprey fan or detractor. I think it’s too early to judge. I also think its unfair to compare it against a heavy lift helo in use since Nam with a different mission set that no longer exists.

Yes, but it can hardly lift itself now. Put some floats on it and it will make a nice airboat.

That’s why they call it the military-industrial complex.

I’m sure a new cross shaft probably only costs $999,999.99, well short of the million dollars it takes to be a Class A mishap. Damn you haters (shakes fist)!

They want to make a tanker version! I guess it is so V-22’s can tank V-22’s, because they certainly aren’t fast enough to tank any jets. Hell, the F-18 never gets off the deck without hitting a tanker, but make the V-22 a tanker, that’s a great idea. That way instead of just a small fireball when it crashes, this version will be able to make a big fire ball!

You may be the PM of a poor product, but when you’re in the job you have to have some confidence that what you’re doing is making a difference. Whether or not the product you’ve been assigned to manage is worth the time of day is another story.

I have fastroped out of MH60, MH47, MH6 and CH53. None of them are easy, all are dangerous but I do not recall 47s or 53s being more tricky than other birds. If anything, they are much easier because you rope from the ramp and there is a lot less pucker factor than trying to grab that rope from the side door of a 60 or bench of a MH6. Down draft did not make much of a difference either way. Just my two cents.

corruption and conflict of interest — ‘that’s what program managers do’

the tanker is joke, you want an efficient bulk lifter not a poor chopper crap aircraft combo.

Like you, my buddy told me pretty much the same thing though he also has Osprey experience. Thanks for sharing Kristian. More first hand experiences make for a better informed audience.

There are limitations on every aircraft in the US military inventory, regardless of branch. The smart money is on figuring the strengths and weaknesses of each one before they get lost in a combat zone.

Granted it won’t carry much in the way of fuel it can off load, but even if it could, it can’t go enough faster than the stall speed of the jets for them to be able to maneuver to hit the drogue. It’s one more huge cluster f.

So you’re say the M777 I’ve seen it lift were made of styrofoam? Sounds like you have a breaking story on your hands David.

This has nothing to do with combat effectiveness, and is just simply an observation by me; but the two most awesome birds I’ve ever seen in the Army were the Osprey and the Skycrane. That CH-54 was the most inspiring piece of flying metal I ever witnessed, and we loved flying in it. The pilots were crazy *******s, who would fly inside gullies and actually be flying below my gun positions doing pedal turns all over the place. They could come by you before you had a chance to **** you weapon, and be gone in a flash!

The futtin’ things looked like GIANT dinosaurs taking off from the ground, and I will never forget how I felt that we were so lucky to have such equipment and flying men so confident of their machines! This is how one grunt felt about the subject — maybe folks in the discussion should take into account how the folks who use the technology feel about it, and the relief some probably feel when they see them coming in lickety split like the flying Calvary to the rescue! I gotta admit that seeing that kind of speed and power would give me a lotta relief, if my butt were stuck in the mountains of Afganistan waiting for a dustoff!

Hell! I’m getting emotional just talking about it! Lemme wipe my face, dammit!

“But there’s no denying the Osprey remains a controversial aircraft. Two of them have crashed this year, and despite officials’ attempts to exonerate the aircraft involved (i.e., blame their pilots) many people still view the V-22 as dangerous. As you’ve read here, DoD is working overtime to mollify the leaders of Okinawa, who are afraid of the aircraft that will start flying off their island this fall.

Moreover, at about $66 million per copy, the V-22 is expensive compared to a traditional helicopter, and it has developed a reputation as a hangar queen – nickname: “the princess.””

Once again, you have shown your total ignorance, Ewing. The V-22 is anything but a hangar queen. It has participated extensively in the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. It is still used in Afghanistan. And by your own admission, the V-22 fleet is close to accumulating 150,000 flight hours. So much for the “hangar queen”. Hangar queens don’t fly so often. By definition, they sit in hangars doing nothing. 150,000 flight hours is an impressive flight record for such a young aircraft.

The V-22 is not really expensive — $66 million per copy is not a very high price — and while being somewhat more expensive than traditional helicopters, it is also vastly more capable than they are. It can fly twice faster and twice farther than any helicopter and can rescue submariners at sea. It is also far better suited to SAR (including CSAR) operations than the H-60 and the H-47. The H-47 is far too big, too fat, too slow, and too easy to shoot down, as demonstrated in Afghanistan. It’s a cargo helicopter unsuited for SAR missions. The H-60 is too small, too slow, and too weak to serve in the SAR role, which is why the USAF is looking for a replacement. The V-22 would be an ideal candidate, which is why Boeing is mulling offering it.

The V-22 is the most capable rotorcraft ever developed. And that’s not just my opinion, it’s the Marines’ opinion, including that of their Commandant, Gen. James Amos, a Naval Aviator by trade. Who do you think knows better: he or you?

Look at this pathetic shill — he thinks he’s selling to a bunch of no nothing congressmen who have already been bought. LOL

The V22 certianly did revolutionise the game of PR bullshit — so much bullshit has been piled up to keep the program alive I expect the marines to claim it rivals the pyramids as an 8 wonder of the world.

Agree with many of your points except that the Osprey flies twice as fast as other helos (patently false) or your characterization of the CH47. You’re overstating things. The CH47 has suffered some pretty costly losses. It’s also used exponentially more than the Osprey. They both need the largest helo LZs and are big targets.

Osprey is a great aircraft. That said, they used MH47s on the Bin Laden raid. You’re maing the same mistake Osprey detractors make. The truth is somewhere in the middle.

“The H-47 is far too big, too fat, too slow, and too easy to shoot down, as demonstrated in Afghanistan.”

Probably a bit early to be comparing the combat survival rate of the V-22 to the CH-47 since the CH-47 has seen a lot more combat. Also, most of the CH-47s hostile fire losses were during landings where any aircraft is vulnerable. If/when the V-22 conducts a couple Anaconda-type air assaults they can be compared.

The V-22s are an unsat platform for CSAR, why do you think the Pedros (AF Rescue HH-60Gs) and Army Dustoff Blackhawks were (and are) doing all the MEDEVACs in southern Afghanistan? The Marines at Bastion didn’t use their MV-22s for MEDEVAC, the deployed CV-22s from the 8th SOS didn’t do MEDEVAC when they were at Kandahar, so why on earth would anyone claim them as capable of doing an even harder mission — CSAR.

Believe me, if they could have used those things to pick wounded troops in the field, they would have done it. It’s not a helicopter, it’s not a fixed wing platform, so we need to stop trying to make it do missions it is completely unsuited for. Just the fact you can’t autorotate and land if something goes wrong while airborne pretty much says it all for me, either that or have parachutes for everyone in the back. But what the hell do I know, I only flew special ops helicopters (including Mi-17s) for 18 years, plus I trained all the ex-Pave Low guys in the two CV-22 squadrons. Sorry guys, if you’re reading this, but I can’t go to anymore memorial ceremonies or funerals without trying to make a difference. If that means going public, so be it.

And I could give a rat’s you-know-what about what the Commandant or any other general officer says about the V-22. I watched the Vice AFSOC Commander, a 2-star general, override an accident investigation board and blame the 2010 CV-22 crash on Randy Voas and JB Lackey, two of the most seasoned aviators in all of AFSOC. Those two probably had over 40 years of aviation experience between them but you’re going to step in and blame it on them because you’re afraid the AIB results will hurt the program? What will they say when one crashes while flying straight and level and wipes out an entire ODA? The only reason the crash last month didn’t kill anyone was because some MH-60s from the 160th were at the range next door and had some PJs on board. Thank god for that, but c’mon, the V-22 has some real problems and the sooner leadership tells the truth about it, the sooner we can get it fixed.

“And that’s not just my opinion, it’s the Marines’ opinion, including that of their Commandant, Gen. James Amos, a Naval Aviator by trade. Who do you think knows better: he or you? ”

Come on, let’s be fair here. Have you ever heard a service chief talk sh!t about his own weapon system, especially when he’s trying to get Congress to buy more of them?

Kristian, I’m curious if you have a personal opinion as to whether it may have been more prudent and cost-effective overall for Marines to have instead switched from the MV-22 procurement to a CH-47F class Marine-specified variant?

You start your argument stating the V-22 is “unsat” for CSAR and then go on to talk about Medevac. (They are different missions and having so much “experience”, you know that.) Then you illogically presume that if we could use the Osprey we would, further proof it’s not adequate for CSAR. Assuming you’re right, you could say the same thing for the CH53 which the we DON’T use for Medevac.

CSAR missions have been exceedingly rare over the last decade. You glaringly avoid discussing the last two successful CSAR mission conducted? Wonder why? http://​defensetech​.org/​2​0​1​1​/​0​9​/​2​3​/​t​h​e​-​c​v​-​2​2​s​-​800–… (BTW, this Afghan mission exceeded the Pave’s unrefueled range and the Libya one did it faster)

Sorry about the loss of your friends. Three UH60 crewmembers died in the air to air collision that killed all 8 men from the first squad of my 1st platoon back in ’88. It’s hard. I didn’t like the “Crash Hawk” for awhile either.

That personal loss must be clouding your logic. CSAR isn’t Medevac. If the lack of Ospreys doing Medevac in Afghanistan is evidence that it isn’t capable of CSAR, the same lack of CH53s should logically prove the same thing. Ignoring successful CSAR missions. misstating speed specs, saying V-22’s can’t do fast rope & stokes when they plainly can and ignoring range specs don’t strengthen your case or significant credibility. They in fact undermine it and prove your resistance to the Osprey is personal not logical or professionally based.

It is also important to know the difference between MEDEVAC and CASEVAC missions.

MEDEVAC aircraft are dedicated to transporting wounded personnel. They are fully trained in one mission only and the airframe used for this mission becomes dedicated 24hrs a day, 365 a year to only doing the MEDEVAC mission.

CASEVAC is the practice of using whatever aircraft happens to be nearby to immediately lift the wounded out. It is typically an assault aircraft that happens to be lingering at or near the LZ.

American Army MEDEVAC aircraft are without doubt the best in the world at getting there fast and keeping the wounded alive en route to a higher level of care. However they cannot be everywhere at once and it is common for other, non-med birds, to be used for a CASEVAC because they are closer. Marine V-22s have been used for the CASEVAC mission and their higher speed is an asset. However their lack of advanced medical training and onboard medical care would be a liability.

That being said, why would the Marines give up their limited number of V-22 airframes to all other missions by dedicating them to a MEDEVAC status? Especially when the Army is already there and they do it better than anyone else?

Oh, and and one of my combat patches is from the Marine 1st. We flew MEDEVAC support for them in 2003.

Jeez, dude, RTFA I posted. I know what the difference is between MEDEVAC and CSAR, I merely mentioned that fact to show that, if the V-22 is having issues with the MEDEVAC missions (which it is), then is definitely going to have even more issues with a harder mission (ie. CSAR). And no, the Libya TRAP mission doesn’t count, unless doing cold LZ pickups in a permissive environment with two CH53s following just to make sure the survivor gets picked up is now the gold standard for CSAR capabilities. When a V-22 deploys a PJ, then recovers the PJ and a survivor in a stokes litter at night in the middle of the ocean, then I’ll believe the V-22 can do the CSAR mission. Until then, it’s all a bunch of guesswork and conjecture.

And I never said they can’t do fastrope ops, they can, I watched them do it at Hurlburt, just not very well. Have you seen a V-22 fastrope to a ship or top of a building? Send me a link to the pic, I’ve never seen it. Same goes for a stokes litter recovery. Never seen one from a CV-22 and I was at Hurlburt for eight years, next door to the 8th SOS. So don’t go sharp-shooting my comments to disprove my professionalism, if they could do all these wonderful things with the V-22 (MV or CV version), there would be all kinds of video and pictures of it. But there ain’t.

I don’t think we should get rid of the V-22s, just fix the problems. Is that too ‘radical’ or ‘crazy’ of an idea? It obviously still has some issues and the gigantic operating costs just make it even harder to justify.

But nothing will change, unless a lot more crashes start happening, and I pray to god that someone with some guts makes a command decision before it comes to that.

I did RTFA maybe you should learn to write?

What’s the problem the Osprey is having with MEDEVAC? Your comment is that the Marines aren’t using it. You ASSUME there’s a problem. They aren’t using CH53s for MEDEVAC. Should we assume there’s a problem with them?

Libya doesn’t count? Tell that to the pilot. CSAR only applies to ops done at night in the middle of the ocean? Hmmmmmm, I guess we should ignore all those missions over Vietnam? That’s a ridiculous standard.

You did say the V-22 can’t do fastrope. “I have watched the debacles at Hurlburt Field when they have tried to do fastrope training out of the CV-22s.” (You said worst about Stokes/hoist ops and have been quiet since I posted the video. “Same goes for a stokes litter recovery.” Again, check the video I posted (2 min mark). While you’re at it, how do you think they got the “simulated” casualty off the sub?

Ref sharpshooting professionalism. YOU opened that can of worms. “Guess it would be too much to actually expect commissioned officers to tell the truth in a public forum.” I’m being pretty civil after you called me a liar.

BTW, you may have been at Hurlburt eight years. The CV-22 has only been fielded three and only so much training happens on the flightline.

I threw you a bone and a way out acknowledging I understand loss with the death of my eight soldiers. If you want to keep this ugly I can do that to…

Sweet that we got actual operators on this site that post operational details like vehicle type and color, unit, location, names, etc.

Maybe CSAR missions arent so exceedingly rare:
Pave Hawk Pilots Awarded Silver Stars http://​www​.airforce​-magazine​.com/​P​a​g​e​s​/​H​o​m​e​P​a​g​e.a

I fast roped out of one today with a squad of Marines. Altogether we had 10 hours of experience fast roping EVER. We learned how to fast rope on Monday and fast roped out of the Osprey 4 times on Wednesday. The result? It went smooth as butter; it was extremely easy and there were no issues of any kind. We got 12 Marines on the deck in 44 seconds. Each Marine had his weapon and body armor. Tomorrow we are executing fast roping out of Ospreys at night with a full 60lb combat kit, and I don’t anticipate any problems. The rope was fine. The LZ did not catch on fire. The bird was steady at 30–40 ft off the deck. Easy day.


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