Spartans Still Not Flying

The C-27J Spartan fleet is still grounded almost a month after the Air Force pulled the aircraft from flight status to investigate a flight-control issue encountered by one of the mini airlifters on a July 10 training sortie. “The C-27J crisis management team is methodically and carefully investigating the incident,” Air Force officials told the Daily Report on Aug. 6 in a written response to a query. As part of the investigation, Air Force Research Lab technicians at Wright-Patterson AFB, Ohio, are conducting a “root cause analysis” of the reported control problem in tandem with the base’s 88th Air Base Wing safety office, which is probing the incident, said the officials. “We must establish a root cause before the C-27J CMT can make a return-to-flight recommendation to the commander of Air Mobility Command,” they explained. Congress has thus far blocked the Air Force’s proposal to divest the Air National Guard-operated C-27 fleet in Fiscal 2013. (See also Spartanless.)