The grounding affects cadets participating in soaring and parachute training, and the Cadet Flying Team.
Safety concern was heightened following the January 2nd engine failure of a twin-engine UV-18 Twin Otter aircraft used to support cadet parachute training. The aircraft was enroute to Florida to pick up cadets participating in a parachuting competition and landed safely at Tinker Air Force Base, Okla. There were no passengers on board.
Academy aircraft maintained by Doss Aviation are grounded while 34th Training Wing officials review and investigate contractor discrepancies. The contractor has directed an immediate independent audit of company operations here. Company auditors will look at maintenance and management practices. Academy officials will work closely with the auditors and provide oversight and assistance.
Academy officials will keep affected aircraft on the ground until confidence is restored in the safety of the maintenance program and permanent fixes are in place for all discrepancies identified.
Affected squadrons and aircraft include: UV-18s of the 98th Flight Training Squadron, TG-10B\C\D unpowered gliders and TG-14 motorgliders of the 94th FTS, and T-41s and Cessna 150s of the 557th FTS.
Introductory Flight Training conducted by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University continues under the supervision of the 557th FTS. This mission is conducted in DA-20 aircraft maintained by Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University employees.
IFT is a required prerequisite for all U.S. Air Force pilot training candidates. Affected soaring and jump programs, as well as the Cadet Flying Team, affected are considered premier leadership opportunities at the Academy.