Aviano Viper Reaches 7K Hours

An F-16C at Aviano AB, Italy, on May 5 surpassed 7,000 flying hours. The 20-year-old fighter, tail #2057, is the first Aviano Viper to reach this mark, 3,000 hours past the original service life expected for the air-to-ground fighter. Structural upgrades over the years have extended the expected service life to 8,000 hours, according to Lt. Col. Matthew Sanford, 31st Aircraft Maintenance Squadron commander at Aviano. He said that those upgrades “together with our continuous and meticulous flightline and phase inspection criteria” are enabling the F-16 fleet to make the 8,000-hour mark. (Aviano report by SSgt. Lindsey Maurice)