IG: 'Defective' Boeing Part Caused F-15 Breakup

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An agreement published in a Pentagon inspector general (IG) report to Congress last month discloses that Boeing has agreed to pay the Air Force $1 million to replace "defective" parts that in 2007 caused the in-flight breakup of an F-15 (AVweb video). The pilot in that event was able to eject and survived with injuries that included a dislocated shoulder and shattered bone in his arm. A joint investigation determined that Boeing-supplied longerons for the jet varied from 0.039 to 0.073 inches thick where the contract specification called for a thickness of 0.1 inch. While the IG report was critical of Boeing, the $1 million agreement is substantially less than the cost of the jet that was lost.

According to the IG report, "Nonconforming products not only disrupt readiness and waste economic resources but also threaten the safety of military and government personnel." The report identified the Boeing parts as "defective." The 2007 in-flight breakup led to grounding of the entire fleet of nearly 450 F-15s. Inspections of the aircraft subsequently found more than 180 of the jets had structural components that didn't meet manufacturing specifications, the Seattle Times reported Friday. The agreement reached between Boeing and the Air Force does not include an admission of liability.