Dover C-5 Grounding Partially Lifted

Five C-5M Super Galaxy airlifters from Dover AFB, Del., are returning to flying operations. Air Force photo.

Air Mobility Command on Wednesday returned five of 18 C-5M Super Galaxies to flight following last month’s stand down at Dover AFB, Del., due to issues with the airlifter’s landing gear. At the same time, AMC Commander Gen. Carlton Everhart ordered a fleet-wide replacement of all C-5 ball screw assembly parts to prevent further issues.

On June 18, Everhart ordered all Dover-based C-5s to stop flying after two separate incidents where C-5s experienced issues with their landing gear at Naval Station Rota, Spain. During the stand down, AMC officials inspected the aircraft’s landing gear to ensure proper extension and retraction.

“Our airmen are working deliberately and methodically at Dover and across the command to identify and resolve any issues impacting the C-5 fleet,” Everhart said in a release. “We have put measures in place to ensure aircrew safety and reduce wear-and-tear on the aircraft.”

While the aircraft at Dover are returning to flight, Travis AFB, Calif., is replacing parts on its aircraft.

The C-5’s nose landing gear has two ball screws, with both working together to retract and extend the landing gear. If one screw assembly is broken, the gear cannot operate, according to AMC.

Everhart also ordered the C-5 fleet to limit kneel operations. “With an aging fleet, it is important to take all potential measures to reduce stress on the aircraft,” he said.

The grounding came as Air Mobility Command kicked off Mobility Guardian—its largest-ever exercise. The C-5 grounding did not impact flying operations for the exercise, but more C-17s were tasked to help carry equipment to make up for the missing C-5s, exercise officials said.