Entire Harrier fleet grounded after potential flaw discovered
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  1. #1

    Cool Entire Harrier fleet grounded after potential flaw discovered

    March 02, 2004

    Entire Harrier fleet grounded after potential flaw discovered

    By Christian Lowe
    Times staff writer

    The Navy yesterday grounded the Marine Corps’ entire fleet of nearly 130 AV-8B Harrier II aircraft after identifying a problem during a routine engine overhaul at a North Carolina aviation depot.
    The high pressure compression valve on a Harrier engine undergoing maintenance at Naval Aviation Depot Cherry Point, N.C., was found to have what technicians believe is a manufacturing flaw, a problem potentially serious enough that Navy officials issued a “Red Stripe” order, grounding the entire fleet worldwide.

    So far the Marine Corps has inspected two-thirds of its nearly 140 Harrier engines for such flaws, discovering 11 “suspect” engines, said Capt. Sean Turner, a spokesman at Marine Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C.

    Five of the flawed engines were in aircraft; six were spares. None were in aircraft serving with deployed squadrons, Turner said.

    Harriers are being returned to flight status as they are inspected and cleared of flaws, he added. The engines with suspect valves will be sent to the Cherry Point depot for further inspection and possible replacement of the valve.

    “It’s not even a certainty that the 11 aircraft engine [parts] were machined improperly,” Turner added. “They basically are just going to require a closer look to make sure the problem does not exist.”

    Two Harriers have crashed so far this fiscal year due to what appear to be mechanical problems, Navy statistics show. But Turner said the current grounding was not related to any specific event.




  2. #2
    Guest Free Member
    Perhaps the DOD procurement should give thought to SixSigma accredited manufacturers. SixSigma is a methodology to ensure that there are only an average of 12 failures per million.

    If the Marine Corps paid overtime those air techs would have cleaned up this month!

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