Bad pressure switches discovered in Ospreys
By Trista Talton - Staff writer
Posted : Thursday Jun 21, 2007 14:09:10 EDT

JACKSONVILLE. N.C. — The military’s fleet of V-22 Ospreys may be placed on an inspect-before-flight notice due to a faulty switch, a Naval Air Systems Command spokesman said.

“That’s yet to be determined,” John Milliman, the NavAir spokesman, said Thursday. “We’re working up developing our response to the issue.”

Some pressure switches in the aircraft’s swash plate actuators, which make the prop-rotors angle when they spin in helicopter mode, are bad, he said. The switch in question lets the Osprey’s computer system know how much hydraulic pressure is in the actuator.

“They’re real easy to spot, the goods ones from the bad ones,” Milliman said. “We’re not anticipating that [fixing the problem] will have an impact on operations.”

Milliman said the problem was discovered when someone was trouble-shooting the source of a hydraulic leak. He did not immediately have details about where the tilt-rotor that had the leak was located.

Each Osprey has six swash plate actuators, three on each side. And each actuator has two pressure switches. Actuators have serial numbers; officials know that 86 actuators have the faulty switches.

Milliman did not know Thursday morning how many aircraft contain the bad switches.

The Marine Corps has more than 40 MV-22 Ospreys, most of which are stationed at Marine Corps Air Station New River, N.C., where the first operational Osprey squadron is preparing for its first combat deployment. Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 263 is headed to Asad Air Base, Iraq, in September.

The Air Force has six Ospreys in its fleet, including four training aircraft.