The horrific KC-130T plane crash that killed 15 Marines and a sailor last summer was caused by a deteriorating propeller blade that was corroded when it entered an Air Force maintenance depot in 2011, but workers there failed to fix it and sent it back to the fleet unrepaired.
This neglect allowed a routine corrosion problem to metastasize into a crack that went undetected for years until a mundane cross-country transport mission ended in flames.
On July 10, 2017, that worn-down blade finally failed and came loose from the propeller 20,000 feet above Mississippi farmland, as the Marine Corps Reserve plane was en route to California under the call sign “Yanky 72.”
It shot into the side of the aging aircraft, one of the last 130Ts still flying, a model set to be retired in the next few years.
The blade’s impact set off a cataclysm that killed everyone on board and left the aircraft in three pieces, creating inconsolable heartache for 16 military families and an inferno of wreckage scattered for miles.
These revelations — along with the systemic failures in the military’s aviation maintenance system that led to the loss — are outlined in a Marine Corps investigation into last summer’s crash that was obtained by Defense News and Military Times.
The investigation’s report and nearly 2,000 pages of supplementary records portray an endemic level of neglect by the Air Force, which maintains C-130 propeller blades for the Navy. (end of excerpt)
Click here for the full story, on the Military.com website.