The US military Osprey that crashed in Norway, killing four Marines during a NATO training flight, was caused by pilot error.

The MV-223 Osprey with the call sign “Ghost 31,” crashed into the steep side of a valley in Bodø, Norway on March 18, Marine Corps aviation investigators have determined.

Corporal Jacob M. Moore, Gunnery Sergeant James W. Speedy, Captain Ross A. Reynolds, and Captain Matthew J. Tomkiewicz died in the crash.

“The investigation shows, from the recovered video and flight data, that the causal factor for the Ghost 31 mishap was pilot error,” as stated in the investigation report.

Gen. David H. Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps saluting casket.
Gen. David H. Berger, Commandant of the Marine Corps, salutes Cpl. Jacob M. Moore casket as it returns to the United States.
Getty Images
MV-22 Osprey in flight. This is the same type of aircraft that crashed in Norway, killing the four Marines onboard.
AFP via Getty Images

Investigators said multiple factors may have caused the crash, including weather, training, maintenance paperwork errors, recording device use, and inexperience in mountainous terrain.

The MV-223 Osprey, which has been dubbed the nickname “The Widow Maker” in the military, was seen making a series of maneuvers before eventually crashing.

“Though we cannot determine which pilot was at the controls, it is clear that the aircraft made a series of maneuvers through the Grátádalen Valley that caused a loss of altitude, airspeed, and turning-room from which Ghost 31 was unable to recover.”

Following this crash in Norway, in June of this year, five more Marines were tragically killed in California after their MV-233 crashed, roughly 150 miles east of San Diego.

That investigation is still underway to determine what caused the aircraft to go down.


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