reply to post by Aloysius the Gaul
The Depot has been at least as dangerous as anyone we've fought in recent years.
Just a few accidents off the top of my head caused by the depot (in no particular order).
F-117 at Maryland (?) airshow. The pilot had made several passes over the crowd, with no problem. On his last pass, he pulled up into a climbing
left hand turn. As he applied Gs to the aircraft, the outboard right wing began to flutter, and snapped off at the join. The pilot and aircraft
landed in the yard of several houses in the area. The ultimate cause was found to be improperly installed wing fasteners. At the time of the
accident, there was only one fastener left holding the wing in place. The G forces applied were enough to cause the others to separate, and the
stress was too much for the remaining fastener.
C-141 at Nashville. A C-141B Starlifter transiting to Europe landed at Nashville to refuel before heading out over the Atlantic, where it would meet
several tankers along the way. During the refueling, the ground crew heard a large bang, and the left wing blew apart at the wing root, dropping the
right wingtip onto the ground. The cause was a fuel vent plug that had been left in the fuel tank after the Depot finished a maintenance check.
C-130 in Europe. A C-130E had recently come out of the depot, and was approaching its destination loading with passengers and crew, when the wing
separated from the aircraft. The depot had failed to torque down and fasten the bolts holding the wing on. A QA supervisor committed suicide shortly
after because he had signed off on the work being properly completed. There were no survivors.
KC-135 at the depot. A pressurization test was being conducted on a KC-135 that had recently completed some work at the depot. During the test, the
aft fuselage shattered, dropping the tail to the ground. An outflow valve had been plugged, and the plug left in place. There was no where for the
pressure to go, and the fuselage shattered.
E-8 in the UAE. An E-8 J-STARS that had completed depot level maintenance about a month prior was on its first mission out of the UAE. After take
off, they were refueling from a KC-135, when the crew heard a bang, and the aircraft began to shudder. The crew backed off from the tanker, and all
indicators were normal, so they started to refuel again. The boomer on the tanker notified the crew of the E-8 that they had a large hole in the left
wing, and fuel was pouring out of it. The crew declared an emergency, and returned to base. Upon further inspection it was found that a plug had
been left in the fuel tank, causing an over pressure event, and the inside of the wing had suffered enough damage that it was several months before
the Air Force made the decision to repair the aircraft, due to the cost of rebuilding the wing. There were several holes on both the top and bottom
of the wing, and on the inside, ribs, and spars had suffered significant damage.