BERN --- During maintenance on an F/A-18C Hornet at RUAG Aviation in Emmen, a crack was detected on February 19, 2019 on a structural part of the upper fuselage. The subsequent review of the F / A-18 fleet revealed no further cracks. The inspection of one aircraft is still pending.
Checks for cracks almost completed
So far, no further cracks were found. One F/A-18C, which is currently under maintenance at RUAG Aviation in Emmen and therefore not on flight duties, has not yet been checked. Because of ongoing maintenance work on its structure, the aircraft is not accessible. This final F/A-18C is expected to be inspected before the end of March.
Operational availability assured
Since the crack detected had no direct impact on the availability of the aircraft, the operational readiness of the F/A-18 Hornet fleet, in particular for the air force’s air police service (LP24), was not affected.
In parallel with aircraft verification, the potential cause of the crack will be clarified by specialists from RUAG and in collaboration with the F/A-18 contact points in the United States, the US Navy and Boeing.
Various questions such as how long the corresponding machine cannot be used, what form repairs of the corresponding fuselage shell will take, and what costs will arise, are the subject of ongoing clarifications.
Only after completion of these clarifications will reliable statements be possible.