An Air Force CV-22 Osprey crashed last night during a training flight in the Florida panhandle. All five airmen aboard the helicopter were injured in the crash and taken to a nearby hospital.
The exact condition of the Osprey crew is not known at this time. Airman 1st Class Michelle Vickers told ABC that some of the airmen were airlifted to the hospital while others were transported by ambulance.
MSNBC reports that the Osprey was assigned to the 1st Special Operations Wing and crashed during a routine training mission in Navarre, Florida. It is not clear what caused the crash.
This isn’t the first time, however, that an Air Force Osprey has crashed during a training exercise. According to ABC, a similar MV-22 Osprey crashed in Morocco two months ago. Two marines were killed in that crash while two others were severely injured.
In 2010, an Osprey crashed in Afghanistan, killing three service members and a civilian contractor.
Marine Ospreys were scheduled to be deployed in Japan this month but the plans were scrapped after officials objected to the helicopter’s safety record.
The Osprey can carry up to 24 troops and can fly nearly twice as fast as an assault helicopter. The Osprey can take off and land vertically, like a helicopter, but also has wings for a level flight. Each aircraft caries a price tag of about $70 million.
The air force is expected to hold a press conference later today to discuss the crash.