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US Military Crash

At least three US Marines were killed and 20 others injured after a military aircraft crashed on Australia's Melville Island over the weekend. The troops were participating in an annual warfighting exercise with partners from the South Pacific.

According to reports, the downed craft was a Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey—a tiltrotor aircraft that combines the vertical takeoff of helicopters with the forward flying of propeller planes (see video). The incident is the third fatal crash of an Osprey during training exercises, causing at least 12 deaths. The cause of yesterday's crash has yet to be determined.

The complex design and capabilities of the Osprey have given rise to both a number of critics and proponents. Read about the history of the craft and the debate over its use here.

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