Monday, December 17, 2007

Navy grounds 39 P-3s over faulty wings

News reports just monitored here at the Milcom blog indicate that the U.S. Navy is grounding 39 of 161 P-3 Orion patrol aircraft due to a wing stress issue.

According to a Navy Times report by Chris Amos, nearly one quarter of the fleet was grounded "because of concerns that a structural defect could cause either of the aircraft’s wings to break off in flight."

"The grounding was the result of engineering analysis and computer modeling and was not caused by any actual structural failures, said John Milliman, spokesman for Naval Air Systems Command. He said he didn’t initially know how the grounded planes were singled out from the rest of the fleet as being vulnerable to wing failures.

"Milliman said each grounded aircraft will be flown to a repair depot in Jacksonville, Fla. Those that can be repaired will be out of service for between 18 and 24 months. Those that can’t will be retired."

More details have been found on the Navy Times website at: