One of the five U.S. Marines killed Wednesday when a military aircraft went down in a training mission in the California desert was from New Hampshire.
Kensington native Capt. Nicholas P. Losapio, 31, was one of the pilots — along with Capt. John J. Sax, 33, of Placer, Calif. — of the MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft that crashed during the mission near Glamis, about 150 miles east of San Diego near the border of Mexico, officials with the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing said Thursday.
“The Kensington Board of Selectmen and the entire Town send their deepest condolences to his family on their tragic loss,” Losapio’s hometown wrote in a statement, adding that he was a graduate of Exeter High School.
Maj. Gen. Bradford Gering, commander of the Aircraft Wing, wrote that “We mourn the loss of our Marines in this tragic mishap. Our hearts go out to their families and friends as they cope with this tragedy.”
Cpl. Nathan E. Carlson, 21, of Illinois; Cpl. Seth D. Rasmuson, 21, of Wyoming; and Lance Cpl. Evan A. Strickland, 19, of New Mexico also died in the crash.
The Osprey is a special type of aircraft that combines the features of a helicopter and an airplane by having the ability to tilt its rotors — it can take off and land like a helicopter with its rotors above it, but can lower them to the front of the fixed wings like an airplane, giving it greater range and speed, according to manufacturer Boeing.
There have been at least eight crashes and 46 deaths attributed to the troubled aircraft since the Pentagon greenlit its use in 2007, according to the Los Angeles Times.
On Thursday, a Marine helicopter, an MH-606 Seahawk, also crashed near the same place the Osprey did the day before, but all four crewmembers survived.
AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, FileA MV-22B Osprey tiltrotor aircraft flies at Marine Corps Air Facility at Marine Corps Base in Quantico, Va., on on Aug. 3, 2012. Officials say a Marine Corps MV-22B Osprey carrying five Marines crashed in the Southern California desert, Wednesday afternoon, June 8, 2022, during training in a remote area near the community of Glamis in Imperial County. Military officials have yet to release official word on the fate of the five Marines. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari, File)