A Second F-15 Stand-down

According to a news release out of Tyndall AFB, Fla., Air Combat Command has directed a second stand-down of the F-15 fleet—this time, just the A, B, C, and D models. Maj. Gen. Hank Morrow, head of 1st Air Force at Tyndall, said that the USAF F-15s supporting the Continental US NORAD Region have stood down, but various other aircraft, including F-16s, remain on alert, ready to launch, as necessary. Just last week, ACC boss, Gen. John Corley, had released the A-D model F-15s for flight, following individual aircraft inspections, even as he said the investigation into the cause of the Nov. 2 F-15C crash would continue. On Nov. 27, ACC’s work with the F-15 depot—Warner Robins Air Logistics Center in Georgia—revealed “possible fleet-wide airworthiness problems,” according to an ACC release. Metallurgical analysis of the mishap aircraft has revealed that metal rails that hold the fuselage of the aircraft together may have cracked or failed. That finding, coupled with manufacturer simulations that show potential for “catastrophic failure,” has led the ALC and accident board to recommend a more detailed inspection of the upper longerons near the canopy on each F-15.