The MV-22 Osprey went down earlier today – with ships and other aircraft being scrambled to help with the search and rescue mission.
In a statement, the US Marine Corps said: “The United States Marine Corps confirms there is an active search and rescue operation ongoing for service members involved in an MV-22 mishap off the east coast of Australia.”
The aircraft went down off the coast of Queensland, Austrialia.
So far 23 of the 26 personnel on board had been accounted for, it is understood, leaving some service members still missing.
Two are thought to have died in the crash.
The statement added: “Ship’s small boats and aircraft from the 31st Marine Expeditionary Unit and Bonhomme Richard Expeditionary Strike Group are conducting the search and rescue operations.
“We will provide more detail as they become available.”
MV-22 Osprey helicopters are crewed by four people and can carry up to 24 troops seated or 32 when at maximum capacity.
It has a top speed of 351 miles per hour and has both vertical take off and landing and short take off and landing capabilities.
The aircraft was in Australia to be part of the giant Australian-US military exercise Talisman Sabre, which has just concluded.
The V-22 has had a controversial safety record, with the latest crash one in a string incidents that have resulted in 39 fatalities over 26 years.
And today’s crash comes just weeks after a Marine Corps cargo plane spiraled out of the sky and into the Mississippi Delta, killing 15 Marines and a Navy Corpsman.
Horrific footage from the scene shows the moments after the plane caught fire, with bright orange flames licking at the wreckage while thick black plumes of smoke billowed above.
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