An Air Force Reserve Command C-5 lost two of its 28 wheels during a training flight July 22 out of the 439th Airlift Wing at Westover ARB, Mass. There were no injuries on the ground or to the aircrew, which landed the huge airlifter safely. The Republican reports that the incident occurred about 1 p.m., and residents notified police that they had seen something fall from an aircraft. State and local police found the four-foot-tall tires in woods near Belchertown. According to the newspaper, it is not the first time the unit’s C-5’s have dropped aircraft pieces, citing the loss in 1987 of a three-by-eight-foot section of aluminum wing flap and the 1999 “two chunks of a wing flap.” Associated Press reports that the aircrew never knew they had lost the wheels. An investigation is ongoing, per a brief statement from the unit.
When the Air Force sets a new program baseline for the B-52 re-engining this fall, there will be “some” cost increase, because the project wasn't previously fully funded, and the Air Force has a better handle on actual supplier costs and knowledge from ground testing, program officials said.