GLAMIS, Calif. — An aircraft based at Marine Corps Air Station Camp Pendleton with five Marines onboard crashed Wednesday near Glamis in Imperial County, a Marine Corps official said.
The crash happened around 12:25 p.m., First Lt. Duane Kampa said. The aircraft was a MV-22B Osprey with Marine Aircraft Group 39 and belongs to the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing.
“We are awaiting confirmation on the status of all members of the crew,” Kampa stated in an email.
The 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing is an aviation unit of the United States Marine Corps.
Military and civilian first responders were on site.
Glamis is an area in Imperial County, east of San Diego County.
FOX 5 spoke with military aviation expert and crash investigator Richard Martindell, who says Ospreys do seem to have a higher crash rate.
“Looking at the Air Force statistics for the Osprey, they’re running about a 6.0 per hundred thousand hours accident rate which is high. Most transport aircraft run around under 2.0, so that’s three times the transport aircraft number,” Martindell said.
Martindell, a retired U.S. Air Force fighter pilot, says the sand dunes in Glamis stir up dust that “causes problems for the pilot on landing and on takeoff.”
“If they’re saying near Glamis, that means they’re not near the airport. It’s out—there’s a training area out in the area of Glamis where they train a lot. What they were doing out there, whether they were in transit or if they were trying to make a pick up or delivery, what they call an in-fill or ex-fill, then that could be part of it too,” Martindell said.
FOX 5’s Liberty Zabala contributed to this story.