Bonding Time

Air Combat Command has ordered a one-time inspection of components on the F-22 known as “bonded standoffs,” command spokeswoman Kelly Sanders told the Daily Report. This requires F-22 units “to inspect and, as necessary, replace” these components, she said. The inspection will take two to three hours to complete per airplane, said Sanders on Dec. 14. The bonded standoffs secure the Raptor’s hydraulic and electrical lines at a safe distance from each other so that they don’t come into contact and chafe, she explained. “This one-time inspection is a routine way to replace any worn parts and to address possible safety concerns,” she said. Sanders stressed that “the F-22 fleet is not grounded” and “normal flight operations are continuing.” The bonded standoffs have “not been identified as a contributing factor in any in-flight incident or mishap,” said Sanders. (An F-22 crashed at Tyndall AFB, Fla., on Nov. 15, and a Raptor was damaged in a landing accident earlier this month at JB Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii.) However, since officials discovered “worn bonded standoffs” on the F-22 being used for comparison to the crashed Raptor at Tyndall during the course of the Air Force’s ongoing safety investigation, ACC issued the inspection order “to ensure these components were examined and replaced throughout the fleet if they show signs of wear,” she said.