A Hangar Queen No More

An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland recently returned to flight after some 17 months of downtime and $1.4 million in complex repairs. The Eagle’s right main tire exploded in the wheel bay, distending the engine inlet duct, sending some 50 rivets through the engine, and ripping the bay-door from the aircraft on May 14, 2013, according to a unit release. “The motor ingested all those rivets and kept working,” said Lt. Col. Bill Kopp, 142nd FW safety officer. A Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex depot team from Georgia removed both of the aircraft’s wings early this year to allow a second team of structural repair technicians to rebuild the area surrounding the intake. Air Guard and depot specialists fabricated components, but ultimately had to work with F-15 manufacturer Boeing to secure the new intake skin from a different model F-15 from a production batch for Saudi Arabia, states the release. The F-15C, serial number 84-0007, returned to flight on Oct. 23.