The order from the Air Mobility Command halts operations for two days
The commander of Air Mobility Command has directed a temporary cessation of C-5 flying operations at Dover Air Force Base following a second malfunction of C-5 nose landing gear within the last 60 days. The stand-down was directed July 17 and is open ended.
“Aircrew safety is always my top priority and is taken very seriously,” Gen. Carlton D. Everhart II said in an AMC press release. “We are taking the appropriate measures to properly diagnose the issue and implement a solution.”
Air Mobility Command Public Affairs spokesman Maj. Korry Leverett said both incidents involved C-5Ms stationed at Dover. The failures occurred May 22 and July 15, both at Naval Air Station Rota, Spain, and involved two separate Dover aircraft.
Inspections will occur to ensure the proper extension and retraction of the C-5 nose landing gear. During the stand-down at Dover, AMC will work to ensure worldwide mission requirements are minimally impacted.
“AMC has a process of inspections and investigation to evaluate and determine the cause” of the problem, Leverett said.
There are 18 C-5 aircraft assigned to Dover; 12 of those are considered primary aircraft and six are backups. The Air Force has a total of 56 C-5 Galaxy aircraft.
The stand-down affects only the Galaxy aircraft at Dover; C-17 operations at the base are not affected.
An article on The Aviationist website said during May 22 incident the crew used several systems in an attempt to lower the four-wheeled landing gear. Although the gear doors functioned properly the crew only was able to extend the gear about six inches. That, however, was enough to prevent extensive damage to the underside of the aircraft.
The article reports there was a full flight crew aboard as well as 21 passengers.
No injuries were reported.
The Air Force Times newspaper reports that after ordering the stand down, Everhart also ordered maintenance records on the entire C-5 fleet to be reviewed. The commander wants to ensure any potential problems are caught before hand, according to the AMC Public Affairs office.
“The primary focus is on any aircraft that experienced any discrepancy in the last 90 days," said Col. Christopher Karns. Aircraft maintenance technicians will be looking for areas that might indicate a problem with the nose landing gear.
The gear has the capability of “kneeling,” in effect lowering the front of the aircraft to ease cargo loading.