Air Force Academy Fleet Back In The Air


Officials at the U.S. Air Force Academy, in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Tuesday cleared 45 aircraft to return to service; the aircraft had been grounded in January and again in April for safety concerns. The Academy says it has resolved all issues about the safety of the fleet. Affected aircraft include: TG-10B\C\D unpowered gliders and TG-14 motor-gliders, T-41 and Cessna 150 single-engine aircraft, and UV-18 Twin Otter jump-platform aircraft. Changes made to address the maintenance issues included a detailed nose-to-tail audit of all aircraft components, improved documentation procedures, and modified maintenance contracts to allow for stronger contractor oversight. The Academy also hired additional contract employees. Other actions include a new spare-parts acquisition plan and an Air Force multi-agency review of glider and motor-glider capability, reliability, maintainability and sustainability. Additionally, plans call for transforming the academy’s 34th Operations Group to bring its procedures more in line with operational Air Force flying practices. Academy soaring, jump and cadet flying team operations, with more than 120,000 sorties and 20,000 parachute jumps per year, provide cadet leadership opportunities, the Academy said in a news release.