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Thu, May 30, 2024

US Navy Returns Jet Trainer to Service

Engine Gremlins Flare Up for Second Operational Pause, But This Time It's (Probably) Fixed

The US Navy's T-45C Goshawk trainer is back in action, after a 1-month operational pause to assess an inflight engine mishap.

The Navy's T-45C fleet can now return to duty, since a probe involving the Naval Air Systems Command and Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office showed evidence of parts failure, and not an issue with the fleet at large. Oddly enough, the pause wasn't the first one for the Goshawk, with another performed in 2022 for nearly the same issue. 

The most recent mishap was blamed on an engine blade failure for one of its low-pressure compressors, while its prior 2022 pause found that a "subset of engine blades do not meet the manufacturer's engine specifications." Back then, it seemed that everything would be given a once-over to make sure everything is within spec, only for it to happen all over again 2 years later. 

Today, the program says that they have returned much of the fleet to flight status, with 113 at the ready.

Another 41 remain in maintenance for the time being.

“The T-45s that were returned to flight status contain blades that have been meticulously and methodically inspected as well as blades produced by a different manufacturer that have more than 1.6 million flight hours without a similar manufacturing defect observed,” said Anne Owens, Chief of Naval Air Training.

"The Navy has returned more than 90 percent of T-45 engines to service.”



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