US Naval Air Systems Command confirms today that a fifth MV-22 -- and the first US-based aircraft – is afflicted with the same “loose bolts” problem that caused the fleet to be grounded earlier this week
This discovery means all “high-time” V-22 airframes may have a safety-critical design problem, and is not isolated to the four Iraq-based MV-22s previously found with the problem.
The bolts are used to attach a swashplate that controls the pitch of the propeller blade. If the swashplate comes loose during flight, the aircraft could crash.
“You would essentially lose control of the aircraft,” Col Matt Mulhern, V-22 programme manager, told FlightGlobal.com.
[Edited 2009-03-26 16:18:27]