Two F-16Ds Cleared for Limited Flight, 81 Still Grounded

Two months after USAF’s two-seat F-16D Fighting Falcons were grounded for cracks in the canopy sills, two have been cleared for limited flight after receiving temporary fixes, an Air Combat Command spokesman said Tuesday. The two aircraft at Edwards AFB, Calif., were authorized to fly with temporary fasteners but “have only been afforded limited flight hours until the permanent strap repair is accomplished,” Capt. AJ Schrag told Air Force Magazine. None of the 83 F-16Ds initially grounded in August have received the permanent repair and 81 remain grounded, Schrag said. “This is a slow moving process and it may take a while to ensure the aircraft meet the strict safety standards required for release,” he said. All of the Air Force’s 157 D models were grounded when the structural crack was discovered in the canopy sill between the front and rear seat. After an inspection of all F-16Ds, 75 were found to have no cracks and were returned to flight status. Most of the F-16Ds are used for flight training by Air Education and Training Command and the Air National Guard.