F-15 A-D models ordered to stand down for additional inspections|
Posted 11/28/2007 Updated 11/29/2007
by Air Combat Command Public Affairs
11/28/2007 - LANGLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Va. (ACCNS) -- For the second time this month, the commander of Air Combat Command has directed a fleet-wide inspection of all ACC F-15 A through D model aircraft.
The directive follows yesterday's findings stemming from the investigation of an F-15C mishap that resulted in the loss of that aircraft Nov. 2. The cause of that mishap remains under investigation. Air Force maintenance and operations professionals and industry experts are working with the accident investigation board to examine all aspects of the mishap. However, based on the new findings, all F-15 A through D models will undergo a stand down that will require additional inspections and possible repair actions.
Gen. John D.W. Corley, ACC commander, also recommended the stand-down of all other similar model aircraft in other Air Force major commands, including those under the operational control of U.S. combatant commanders.
The new findings from the Accident Investigation Board indicate possible fleet-wide airworthiness problems with F-15A/B/C and D aircraft. These findings, based on a metallurgical analysis of the mishap aircraft, have drawn attention to the F-15's upper longerons near the canopy of the aircraft that appear to have cracked and failed. The longerons are major structural components that run along the length and side of the aircraft.
Although the longeron area was covered in general by previous inspections as a result of the Nov. 2 mishap, technical experts with the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Georgia, are recommending a specific inspection technique for the suspect area based on the yesterday's findings.
Manufacturer simulations have indicated a catastrophic failure could result in this particular area. In addition, cracks were discovered along the same longeron area during two recent inspections of F-15C aircraft. These aircraft were immediately grounded based upon the inspection findings and are awaiting further engineering instructions.
Based on this most recent data, ACC believes it is necessary to stand-down the F-15 A through D aircraft until such time each aircraft can receive a more detailed and tailored inspection of the upper longerons in the focus area.
Air Combat Command continues to work with the Air National Guard, the Air Force Reserve and sister major commands in Europe and the Pacific, as well as joint and coalition partners, to ensure mission coverage.
The stand-down does not affect the F-15E. The duration of the stand-down is pending the completion of required inspections and any necessary repair actions.