The ?xml:namespace>US Air Force Boeing F15A-D Eagle fleet is grounded after preliminary findings of a crash investigation show signs of a design weakness.
Air Combat Command (ACC) ordered the stand-down until the airframes can be inspected. An inspection checklist is being prepared by the Warner-Robins Air Logistics Center, an ACC spokesman says.
An ongoing investigation of a 2 November crash is focusing on potential failure of the F-15’s upper longerons near the canopy seal.
Recent inspections found cracks in this same area on two other F-15Cs. A Boeing simulation analysis shows such cracks could lead to “catastrophic failure”, the air force says.
The second grounding comes a week after the full F-15 fleet returned to flight. The initial order to ground the fleet came immediately after the 2 November crash, in which the aircraft partially disintegrated in mid-air during a routine training flight above Missouri.