WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio — The Air Drive is directing inspections of KC-135 tanker plane for a non-conforming half within the vertical tail meeting. The Time Compliance Technical Order (TCTO) restricts flight operations till the roughly 30-minute inspection is accomplished.
The TCTO, issued February 14, follows the same directive introduced February 10 for every KC-135 to be inspected for non-conforming vertical terminal becoming pins (tail pins). Whereas the preliminary requirement was for inspections to happen within the subsequent 15 days, the brand new TCTO requires inspection previous to the subsequent flight. The Program Workplace decided that non-conforming vertical terminal becoming pins, which haven’t been confirmed to fulfill technical specs, could have been put in on some KC-135, RC-135, and WC-135 jets.
“We’re taking this motion out of an abundance of warning, after consulting with our engineering consultants,” mentioned Col. Michael Kovalchek, Senior Materiel Chief with the Air Drive Life Cycle Administration Middle’s Legacy Tanker Division. “We’re working intently with Air Mobility Command and all operational customers and anticipate all doubtlessly affected plane will likely be inspected.”
As of February 12, 90 plane had been inspected with 24 discovered to have non-conforming pins. Though no mishaps have resulted, leaders elected to speed up the inspection resulting from a lack of know-how to evaluate the chance of materiel failure in non-conforming components.
Planes which have already been inspected and located with correct pins have already returned to flying standing.
Plane discovered to have non-conforming pins will likely be licensed a one-time flight to a restore location. The KC-135 Program Workplace anticipates plane which require solely a swap out of latest pins might be completed inside a day. Most pin alternative work will probably be completed on the Oklahoma Metropolis Air Logistics Advanced, the place the KC-135 fleet additionally undergoes depot upkeep.