20 August 2014
Defense News reported that over half of the U.S. Air Force’s F-16D Fighting Falcons have been grounded after canopy sill longeron cracks were discovered between the front and rear pilot seats. Those not grounded were cleared to continue flying. Lt. Col. Steve Grotjohn, deputy chief of the Weapon System Division, said in a statement that the cracks were “due to fatigue from sustained operations. ... Fortunately, we have a robust maintenance, inspection and structural integrity program to discover and repair deficiencies as they occur.” According to the article, officials are now working with Lockheed Martin to determine the cause of the cracks and the repair strategy. According to Flightglobal, this event demonstrated the “aging inventory of fighters” the U.S. now has before the introduction of the F-35A. (Image Credit: Wikipedia/USAF)
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