DoD Buzz

Air Force Wraps Up Aviation Review Amid Spate of Emergency Landings

A CV-22 Osprey and an MH-53 fly over the coastline near Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Julianne Showalter)
A CV-22 Osprey and an MH-53 fly over the coastline near Hurlburt Field, Fla. (U.S. Air Force photo/ Senior Airman Julianne Showalter)

The U.S. Air Force has concluded a one-day safety review for active-duty units to find problems in its aircraft and procedures that may have led to crashes in recent months.

The conclusion of the review comes as the service reported three emergency landings in the last week involving separate aircraft. All three incidents are under investigation.

"Air Force active-duty units have completed the Operational Safety Review announced in May, while Reserve and Guard units still have until June 25 to complete the review," service spokeswoman Erika Yepsen told Military.com on Wednesday via email. "The feedback will be reviewed across Air Force organizational levels -- wings, major commands, as well as Headquarters Air Force.”

Related content:

Findings from the review will be compiled for an internal report to senior leaders as well as members of Congress, officials previously told Military.com.

The final report will unlikely be made public, however, because some airmen used "safety channels" in their chain of command to remain anonymous in the reviews, Air Force Maj. Gen. John T. Rauch, chief of safety for the service and commander of the Air Force Safety Center, said last month.

Rauch said the safety review was never meant to be the total solution to prevent future mishaps. In fact, the Air Force in recent days has seen three more incidents.

During a routine training mission Monday, a CV-22 Osprey from the 1st Special Operations Wing at Hurlburt Field, Florida, made "a precautionary landing" near Ashland, Alabama, "out of an abundance of caution," officials told Military.com on Wednesday. No injuries were reported.

"We appreciate all the help and support we are receiving from the community and emergency services here in Ashland," Lt. Col. David Lucas, 1st Special Operations Group deputy commander, said in a statement.

Officials with 1st SOW said they will release an update as more information becomes available.

Separately, two tankers had emergency landings, one stateside and one overseas, in the last week.

A KC-10 Extender landed at Shannon Airport in Ireland on Sunday after it reportedly suffered an engine malfunction over the Atlantic, according to local media reports.

After inspection, it was determined the tanker was missing a panel off its left jet engine, which caused the air crew to shut the engine down, according to the Irish Examiner. Local fire units responded after the aircraft landed at about 3 p.m. local time, the Examiner said. No injuries were reported in that incident.

The aircraft belongs to the 305th Air Mobility Wing at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in New Jersey, Air Mobility Command confirmed to Military.com. A request for additional information was not answered by press time.

In the third recent incident, a KC-135 Stratotanker made an emergency landing last week after it was struck by lightning.

The aircraft, part of the Wisconsin Air Guard's 128th Air Refueling Wing, was forced to return to General Mitchell Air National Guard Base, part of Mitchell International Airport, from the Chicago area and then blew out two landing gear tires as it touched down, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported May 30.

Response teams were on the ground to assist the crew, who were unharmed.

"Thankful that our well-trained KC-135 crew were able to land safely after an in-flight emergency today. The incident temporarily shut down MKE while the Crash Fire Rescue team performed response tasks," the 128th said in a Facebook post.

-- Oriana Pawlyk can be reached at oriana.pawlyk@military.com. Follow her on Twitter at @Oriana0214.

Show Full Article

Most Popular Military News