Air Force

August 22, 2014

F-16Ds removed from flight status due to longeron cracks

Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs.

WASHINGTON — U.S. Air Force officials recently removed 82 two-seat F-16D Fighting Falcons from flight status due to the discovery of canopy sill longeron cracks found between the front and rear pilot seats.

The cracks were discovered following an immediate action time compliance technical order, or TCTO, to inspect all F-16D due to initial structural cracks discovered during post-mission flight inspections.

Following the TCTO, individual F-16 units conducted inspections on the Air Force’s 157 F-16Ds to ensure the structural integrity of the aircraft and pilot safety. As of Aug. 18, all aircraft have been inspected. Eighty-two were found to have cracks; the remaining 75 aircraft have been returned to flight status. The other F-16 variants were not affected.

The Air Force F-16 Systems Program Office and Lockheed Martin engineers are analyzing the F-16 structure and developing repair procedures to allow aircraft with cracks to resume operations for a limited number of flight hours while analysis continues on a permanent fix.

“As aircraft accumulate flight hours, cracks develop due to fatigue from sustained operations,” said Lt. Col. Steve Grotjohn, the deputy chief of the Weapon System Division. “Fortunately, we have a robust maintenance, inspection and structural integrity program to discover and repair deficiencies as they occur.”

The Air Force is working with its F-16D operational units to mitigate the impact on operations, training and readiness. Programmed flying training and F-16 pilot graduation impacts will depend on the number and timing of aircraft returned to service. Subject matter experts are considering multiple courses of action to mitigate these delays.

The F-16D fleet, the two-seat variant of the F-16 primarily used for training, is on average 24 years old with more than 5,500 hours of flight time. There are a total of 969 F-16s of all variants in the Air Force.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler

40 years of Red Flag ends on high note

U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A C-17 Globemaster III assigned to the 437th Airlift Wing, Charleston Air Force Base, S.C., flies to the Nevada Test and Training Range during Red Flag 15-4, Aug. 25. With a...
 
 

Never underestimate your impact

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, Turkey — Every day I visit our great Airmen and every day I come across more than one that underestimates their impact to the mission. There’s the one-stripe maintainer, “just repaneling an aircraft,” for the next day’s flight, or the young personalist, “just issuing another identification card,” or the defender, “just guarding...
 
 

Challenge yourself: Never give up, never quit

FAIRCHILD AIR FORCE BASE, Wash. — I once read that newly created cells in our bodies do one of two things: they either begin to decay or they become more vital. These cells choose their path based on what we demand of them. If we are sedentary, our brains signal our cells to decay; but...
 

 

SECDEF visits Nellis

U.S. Air Force photo by Lawrence Crespo U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter speaks with Airmen from Nellis and Creech Air Force Bases during an all-call at the Lightning Aircraft Maintenance Unit hangar on Nellis AFB, Nev., Aug. 26. Carter’s department is responsible for policy development, planning, resource management, fiscal, and program evaluations for the...
 
 

Air Force extends SAPR services to AF civilians

WASHINGTON — The Air Force released a policy memo today allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to assist Air Force civilians...
 
 

TRICARE pharmacy rules changing for maintenance, brand-name drugs

WASHINGTON — TRICARE beneficiaries who take certain brand-name medications on a regular basis will be required to fill prescriptions at a military treatment facility or through a mail-in program beginning Oct. 1, a Defense Health Agency official said here Aug. 20. George Jones, DHA’s pharmacy operations division chief, said the new policy does not apply...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>