Here's just released animation of the Eagle mishap that started the current "crisis":
Pretty hairy, huh? Maj. Stilwell was lucky, to put it mildly.Meanwhile the USAF is not ready to say everything's okay now that the mishap investigators have figured out what caused the structural failure. Here's an excerpt from the latest running at Military.com:
Gen. John Corley, the top officer at Air Combat Command at Langley Air Force Base, Va., called the situation a "crisis" that would be best solved by an infusion of costly new aircraft rather than fixing jets that are 25 years old.
The mechanical troubles, most acute in the F-15 Eagles used to protect the United States, also have led to a patchwork approach to filling critical air missions at home and in Iraq and Afghanistan.With nearly a third of the F-15 fleet grounded due to a defective support beam in the aircraft's frame, other fighter aircraft, including F-16s and new F-22s, are being shifted from duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It's a rob Peter to pay Paul," Corley said at a Pentagon news conference. "It's unprecedented to have an air superiority fleet that's on average 25 years old."
Other reports today suggest the Air Force is leaning on Boeing to take responsibility for a faulty manufacturing process that led to the longerons failing. Stay tuned. That subplot is bound to get sporty.Read the whole report here.