Gen. Maryanne Miller, Air Mobility Command commander, ordered the temporary removal of 123 of 450 Total Force C-130 Hercules from service on Aug. 7, after atypical cracks were discovered on the lower center wing joint or “rainbow fitting” during programmed depot maintenance.
In consultation with aircraft maintenance and engineering experts, Miller directed an immediate time compliance technical order inspection to identify and correct any cracking to ensure airworthiness of these C-130 aircraft.
In accordance with the TCTO, in-depth visual and modified non-destructive inspections of the wing box will be conducted on affected C-130H and J-model aircraft that have not received the extended service life center wing box and have greater than 15,000 equivalent flight hours.
If cracking is identified during the eight-hour inspections, a depot-level replacement of the rainbow fitting will be required. Aircraft that are inspected and determined to have no cracking will be immediately returned to service.
The Air Force takes the safety of its Airmen and aircraft very seriously and is working diligently to identify and repair affected aircraft as soon as possible. At this time, it has been assessed that this temporary removal of service will not impact ongoing C-130 support to overseas contingency operations.