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Norway makes progress on salvaging US Osprey stuck in a nature reserve

Osprey on Norwegian island
Photo: Norwegian defense ministry

The Norwegian defense ministry is making progress on recovering a US Air Force Special Operations Command CV-22 Osprey that has been stuck on an island in a nature reserve for over a month.

Like many other airframes of its type, the Osprey experienced problems with its clutch and had to make an emergency landing on the southern tip of Senja in Troms and Finnmark, the northernmost county in Norway.

The process of recovery took a long time to prepare, taking into consideration its impact on the nature. All of the equipment necessary for the operations arrived in Senja this week and was lifted off of the barge and onto land using a small crane barge.

Photo: Norwegian defense ministry

The work on the makeshift path that will bring the Osprey closer to shore has begun. Parts of the path have been built by laying down the wooden mats towards the helicopter and out towards the sea. The Osprey has been jacked up, and the wheels dug out of the ground.

In short, the plan involves lifting the aircraft with a crane boat. To make this possible, the aircraft must be moved a little closer to the shore. This is why a small road out of wooden materials must be built to ensure as little harm to nature as possible.

Soldiers from the Norwegian Army Engineer Battalion are currently building the improvised road, and if weather and wind permit it, the lift will take place early next week. From there the Osprey will be transported on a crane boat to a maintenance facility at a NATO port in Norway.

Photo: Norwegian defense ministry

US AFSOC earlier said the aircraft is damaged, but the extent is yet to be determined. Judging by the fact that the problem originated from the clutch, the gearbox will likely have to be replaced, and possibly the engine as well.

The Osprey crash in Norway was one of several such Osprey incidents that led AFSOC to ground its fleet of 52 CV-22s to examine the issue. Some of the grounded aircraft have been reported to have resumed flights in the meantime.