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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : latest news : latest news September 24, 2016

9/24/2013 5:09:00 PM
Flight of the Ospreys: Locals show hospitality for crew of an exotic aircraft
Courtesy Alex Priggee
The Osprey crew pauses for a photo with their hosts during an unintentional Cottonwood stay.
Courtesy Alex Priggee
The Osprey crew pauses for a photo with their hosts during an unintentional Cottonwood stay.
For the second night of their stay, the crew bunked with a local skydiving business.
For the second night of their stay, the crew bunked with a local skydiving business.

Jon Hutchinson
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD -- A couple of rare Marine Osprey aircraft dropped into the Cottonwood Airport this weekend after one developed a faulty warning indicator. The Osprey is a hybrid aircraft that can rotate its propellers like a helicopter to fly vertically or like a fixed wing aircraft to fly horizontally.

Friday evening, one of two aircraft that were flying together, made an emergency landing at the Cottonwood airport due to a fire indicator in the cockpit.

The second Osprey landed along with the first but with no emergency. The pilots attempted to reboot the system to see if the fire indicator would reset and it did not. The 10-member crew kept the faulty craft at the airport overnight while the first went for parts.

After repairing the initial problem, a second problem developed, and the crew needed to stay a second night while more parts were flown in.

But, while they were able to get a motel room Friday, the town was sold out due to the Thunder Valley Rally Saturday.

Laura Charles of Arizona Balloon Works rustled up air mattresses and sleeping bags, and Red Rock Skydiving owners Karl and Sharon Priggee and daughter Alex hosted them in "dropzone' space used to organize their skydiving business.

The exotic planes, the world's first tilt-rotor aircraft, suffered a lengthy and high cost of development during the 1990s troubled by numerous fatalities, including 19 in Arizona. They went into full production in 2005 and have been used routinely in Afghanistan.

These flights originated in North Carolina, according to Alex Priggee, and were headed to the Marine Air Station in Yuma.

Related Stories:
• Ospry makes emergency landing at Cottonwood Airport

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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, September 27, 2013
Article comment by: It seems to me:

Jeremy Selting is assuming the crew wanted to leave their aircraft unattended all night. Let's just thank the good folks who went out of their way to make them comfortable at the airport.

Posted: Thursday, September 26, 2013
Article comment by: Jeremy Selting

Really? This is the best we could do for these Devil Dogs? Sheets and air mattresses? I mean its better than sleeping on the flight line in Iraq or Afghanistan but come on! I hope they at least got to go to the TVR and didn't have to stay locked in...

Posted: Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Article comment by: Jim Millis

well these birds sure created some excitement at the airport this weekend, we live right by the airport and watched a lot of the coming and going of the big birds. I wonder what we'll do for excitement next weekend?

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