F-16Ds With Structural Cracks Remain Grounded

The compliance technical order inspection and repair of the two-seat F-16Ds, which were grounded last month for structural cracks on the canopy sill, is continuing and “we have no estimated completion date due to the wide variability in the scope of the cracking discovered in the F-16D longerons,” an Air Combat Command spokesman said. Capt. A. J. “Loball” Schrag told Air Force Magazine some of the grounded aircraft “exhibit only minor issues and can be returned to flying quickly, while others require more intensive repairs.” But as of Sept. 3 none of the F-16Ds with cracks were back in service, Schrag said. In fact, a total of 83 Fighting Falcons are grounded—one more than in the original Aug. 18 notice, he added. The grounding of the F-16Ds was initiated when a crack in the longeron on the cockpit sill between the front and rear cockpits was discovered in a routine post-flight check. After an immediate action inspection of all 157 D models, 75 were found to have no cracks and were restored to flight status. Most of the F-16Ds are used for flight training by Air Education and Training Command and the Air National Guard.