5:00 PM ET — First Osprey crash. The Associated Press reports that a U.S. Air Force Osprey plane crashed in southeastern Afghanistan today, the first ever Osprey crash in a combat zone. The Osprey is the military’s newest transport aircraft, flying like a regular plane but landing and taking off like a helicopter. Three U.S. service members and one civilian contractors died in the crash.
While the Taliban claimed responsibility for the crash, saying that insurgents shot down the plane, NATO is still investigating the cause.
From the AP:
A Taliban spokesman said militants shot down the aircraft, but the insurgents often make exaggerated claims. NATO said the cause was still under investigation. A Pentagon spokesman, Marine Maj. Shawn Turner, said it was the first time that an Osprey, which cost nearly $70 million apiece, has crashed during operations in a war zone.