Air Force grounded 116 aircraft after one crew at Robbins AFB was able to spot a major issue


Hannah Jones

The Macon Telegraph

Oct. 20—WARNER ROBINS — The U.S. Air Force grounded 116 planes last month because of the sharp eye of a crew at Robins Air Force Base in Middle Georgia.

The airmen were the first to spot an issue with a propeller system commonly used on C-130H aircraft.

A maintenance crew at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex found persistent leaking and a crack in the propeller system during a single engine check. They later discovered the same issue on two other C-130H aircraft at the base.

The Air Force investigated the issue and found that other aircraft in the fleet also had this older type of propeller system.

On Sept. 27, the Air Mobility Command issued an order for all these planes to be grounded for inspection and a possible replacement system. Defense News reported that the impacted aircraft are mainly from the Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard.

Air Force spokesperson Maj. Beau Downey told Air & Space Forces Magazine that no safety incidents have been reported in relation to the cracked C-130H propellers.

Each C-130H will be inspected to determine whether it needs a propeller replacement.

In a report released Friday, Downey told Defense News that two of the 116 grounded C-130Hs have been evaluated and approved to fly again so far. One did not require a replacement and the other received an updated propeller.

“We anticipate the process to safely inspect, and if necessary replace the affected propellers, will take some time,” Downey said in a statement to the Telegraph. “The Air Force continues to have sufficient airlift to meet global requirements during this standdown.”

Dobbins Air Reserve Base in Marietta is reportedly planning to ship all of the new propeller assemblies in its inventory to other reserve units with grounded C-130Hs.

The C-130H is a large transport aircraft that can operate from “rough dirt strips and is the prime transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas.”

Leach said Robins Air Force Base does depot maintenance on C-130H aircraft regularly.


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