Ospreys over Los Angeles

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Various people have posted reports, photos, or video of military Osprey aircraft over Los Angeles, for example

Source: https://twitter.com/ShootToThrill17/status/1243621643517218816


This is presented as if it's some indication of coming martial law. But what are they actually doing? The Dana Point Times posted this:

Source: https://twitter.com/DanaPointTimes/status/1243666641734586368


Dana Point is 50 miles south of Los Angeles. The Ospreys probably came from Camp Pendleton, further south.
https://www.google.com/maps/search/marines/@33.3032727,-117.3503682,675m/data=!3m1!1e3
Metabunk 2020-03-28 11-53-51.jpg

It's not exactly a new thing:


Metabunk 2020-03-28 11-57-30.jpg

Ospreys are sometimes seen accompanying Presidential helicopters. But it seems the more common thing is training, like this story from 2014:
https://abc7.com/424995/

The Osprey can fly as both an airplane and a helicopter. The U.S. Marine Corps says we'll be seeing more of them over Los Angeles next week.

A Marine Corps spokesman told Eyewitness News that the Marines are taking a break from their regular training at Camp Pendleton.

"We do a lot of training on Camp Pendleton. It's very easy for us to sort of become familiar with all the training locations. So, mixing it up and going to some place like L.A., it's brand new terrain, it's unfamiliar, it forces you to think a little more," said Capt. Brian Block.

This does not mean you'll see Camp Pendleton-style tanks roaming through the streets of downtown Los Angeles. But you will see helicopters and other aircraft flying to remote, secret training locations here in Southern California.
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Similar sightings, similar fears.

In another case in 2016, it was a bit of both - the Ospreys were practicing for a Presidential visit:
https://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/la-news-chopper-stumbles-onto-fomation-of-v-22-ospreys-1762175465
Los Angeles’ KTLA news chopper crew was flying around when they happened to spot a trio of HMX-1 MV-22 Ospreys doing a familiarization flight ahead of President Obama’s visit.
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And a Reddit thread from two years ago, with the exact same type of thing as the current Tweets:
Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/LosAngeles/comments/7w1a0w/low_flying_military_ospreys_i_think_havent_seen/

Metabunk 2020-03-28 12-13-06.jpg
And another with an explanation:
Source: https://www.reddit.com/r/LosAngeles/comments/b8peyw/military_helicopters_over_santa_monica/


There are many military air bases in Southern California. Camp Pendleton, Miramar, Los Alamitos, March AFB, Fort Iwrin, Edwards AFB, 29 Palms MCAS, China Lake Naval Air Station, and Vandenberg AFB are just the primary military air fields. Training flights often incorporate flying in multiship formations, flying low near terrain, flying into and out of weather / dust / terrain features / etc...

When in transit over civilian areas, which is some of the busiest airspace in the country, military aircraft follow the same rules as civilian small aircraft. They fly along the freeways for ease of navigation and so they don't accidentally fly into other aircraft. It's as much a safety aid as a navigation tool.

Airspace over LA is crowded. In addition to commercial flights, there are small civilian planes, government helicopters (PD / FD / etc), and increasingly, civilian drones that are all flight hazards. Unless they're specifically doing training where they're trying to fly over urban areas, they're usually just using the airspace to transition from one remote area to another.
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Mendel

Senior Member.
Kinda makes sense that they're taking this opportunity when the airspace is a lot more empty than usual.
 

Leifer

Senior Member.
I wonder if these tilt-rotor V-22 Ospreys were missioned to help supply the large floating hospital USNS Mercy, that just recently docked in the Port of Los Angeles yesterday (fri, 3/27/20) ?

A few years ago, the Mercy and the "USNS Comfort" (both converted, former oil tankers) were being considered for retirement and being 'scrapped". But plans changed, and Mercy's heli-pads were recently retro-fitted to accommodate two Ospreys.

Back in April 2018, the ships' fate was decided, and the upgrade decision was made.

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(EDIT)....it seems the changes have not yet been completed... but still, the Ospreys could land nearby if needed.
mercy.jpg
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(June, 2018)
“We have made plans to do a service life extension of both ships … ” he said. “The problem with those ships is, there’s only two of them and they’re big, and we’re moving to a more distributed maritime operations construct.”
To consider their options, the Navy commissioned a “requirements evaluation team” this spring. Merz said at the April hearing that one of the requirements under consideration was mandating the ships to support V-22 Ospreys, which can accommodate nearly 20 more seated passengers than an SH-60 Seahawk.
....
Capt. Lynelle Boamah, the Mercy’s executive officer, told Stars and Stripes during the ship’s recent visit to Yokosuka that the flight deck will be modified to support tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft by 2020.
SOURCE

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw7ku4N2vEk
 
Last edited:

Landru

Moderator
Staff member
I wonder if these tilt-rotor V-22 Ospreys were missioned to help supply the large floating hospital USNS Mercy, that just recently docked in the Port of Los Angeles yesterday (fri, 3/27/20) ?

A few years ago, the Mercy and the "USNS Comfort" (both converted, former oil tankers) were being considered for retirement and being 'scrapped". But plans changed, and Mercy's heli-pads were recently retro-fitted to accommodate two Ospreys.

Back in April 2018, the ships' fate was decided, and the upgrade decision was made.

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(EDIT)....it seems the changes have not yet been completed... but still, the Ospreys could land nearby if needed.
mercy.jpg
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Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xw7ku4N2vEk
The ship is in port. Why wouldn't they just drive trucks?
 
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