Air Drive grounds most of its C-130H fleet over mechanical situation

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The U.S. Air Drive has stopped flights of greater than 100 of its workhorse cargo aircraft, citing a necessity to repair faulty propeller barrel assemblies. If not mounted, the problem may crack propellers and endanger planes and crew.

USAF Air Mobility Command confirmed to Process & Objective that 116 planes, most of C-130Hs together with variants, are grounded. Air Mobility Command has 128 C-130H planes. Following an engine run examine at Warner Robins Air Logistics Middle, airmen discovered a leak in one of many propellers. 

“When the propeller meeting was eliminated and become the WR-ALC Prop Store, a technician famous a crack within the propeller barrel meeting. Upon subsequent inspections, two further propeller assemblies have been found with the identical situation,” Air Mobility Command stated in a press release to Process & Objective. “These discoveries drove the primary security time compliance technical order (TCTO) to conduct a area degree visible inspection on all C-130H mannequin plane with the 54H60 props put in. After further evaluation, together with metallurgical and detailed stress evaluation, the command launched an immediate-action TCTO directing alternative of quite a lot of particular suspect propellers.”

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The difficulty is particular to planes with 54H60 propellers. A cracked propeller barrel meeting presents “vital threat” for planes in flight, USAF stated. The grounding order doesn’t impression C-130H plane which have the newer NP2000 propeller meeting, nor the Air Drive’s C-130J fashions. It’s not instantly clear how it will impression Air Mobility Command’s operations.

The Air Drive has ordered the items get replaced with newer NP2000 propeller assemblies to keep away from any security dangers. Nevertheless, the “time to decision” isn’t clear, however Air Mobility Command stated that USAF is aggressively working to get the plane operations restarted. A number of dozen C-130Hs has an identical situation in 2019, which resulted in a short grounding as effectively. 

The information was first shared on an unofficial Air Drive Fb web page, with a person posting a screenshot of a time compliance technical order for the planes, which talked about grounding them. 

Plane require ongoing upkeep and inspection with a purpose to keep flight prepared. The Air Drive so usually finds points in want of repairs on its plane {that a} “black letter” upkeep report — so known as as a result of there aren’t any points written on it in crimson ink — is “tremendous uncommon.” 

The faulty propeller barrel meeting with the C-130H fleet is the newest situation with the service’s aircrafts. In August, Air Drive Particular Operations Command grounded its fleet of V-22 Ospreys on account of a tough clutch engagement downside; they have been cleared for flight in September, however the issue was given a workaround, not absolutely mounted. 

David Roza contributed to this text. 

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