Axalp Demo Canceled - Cracks Detected on F / A-18
(Source: Swiss Dept. of Defence, Civil Protection and Sport; issued Oct. 09, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
Switzerland already found cracks in its F-18 fighters earlier this year, and the discovery of new cracks has led it to restrict flight operations and to cancel its annual air power demonstration at Axalp. (Swiss AF photo)
New cracks were discovered on Wednesday, October 9, 2019 as part of routine checks on the flaps of an F/A-18C/D Hornet. In consequence, flights have been restricted to ensure flight safety. For this reason, demonstrations by the Swiss Air Force scheduled for Thursday on the Axalp are canceled.

New cracks were discovered on Wednesday on the landing flaps of an F/A-18C/D Hornet fighter. As an immediate measure, the Air Force commander ordered flight restrictions for the F/A-18 Hornet and the inspection of all F/A-18 aircraft of the Air Force.

For flight operations, the flight restrictions mean that no aircraft demonstrations near the ground or gun strafing will be carried out until completion of inspections on the corresponding aircraft. A minimum altitude of about 1,000 meters above ground has also been decided.

Despite these flight restrictions, the F/A-18 aircraft remain available for the Air Police Service (LP24).

The discovery of new cracks coincides with the flight demonstrations of the Luftwaffe on the Axalp. As the F/A-18 cannon firing and the F/A-18 flight demonstration are the main attraction of the Air Force’s demonstrations on the Axalp, scheduled for Thursday Oct. 10, the Air Force has decided to cancel these events.

Various issues related to the detected cracks, such as when the inspections of all F/A-18s have been completed or what costs will be incurred, are the subject of ongoing clarifications. Only after completion of these in-depth clarifications can reliable statements be possible.

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