Air Force says mechanics’ inspections process to blame for grounding of over a hundred C-130 aircraft


Over one hundred C-130 Hercules transport aircraft are potentially deadlined, thanks to scratched propellers- and the problems likely go back for decades.

The damage to the propellers was likely caused by engraving serial numbers on the blades.

“The process used to engrave serial numbers on the propellers likely contributed to cracks that are being found on the C-130Hs,” Maj. Beau Downey, an Air Force spokesperson, said in a statement. “That process, which involved an electric arc pen to incise digits into the surface of the metal, was stopped about six months ago and will not be used going forward. Further analysis will be needed for a full understanding of the root cause of the cracks. Right now our focus is on safely and quickly returning these aircraft to support the mission.”

According to Defense One, the mission impact if grounding 116 Hercs -roughly 20 percent of the fleet- is severe, but the USAF is currently working on a plan to get them airborne again.

“The [Air Force] is working a multi-faceted recovery plan to resume safe aircraft operations as soon as possible,” Downey said. “This will be an incremental process based on operational priority and our focus remains the safety of our crews.”

The issue is ongoing.

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