An F-15C of the Missouri Air National Guard’s 131st Fighter Wing on a training sortie breaks apart in mid-air, prompting USAF to ground the entire F-15 fleet. (The pilot ejected, sustaining injuries.) Air Combat Command officials would call the incident a “catastrophic structural failure.” ACC lifted the grounding in December, but days later reinstated it for A-D models when a continuing review of the fleet showed more aircraft with longeron cracks. Younger F-15Es continued operations. ACC discovered nine F-15s it considered beyond saving. The command gradually returned the F-15A-D models to operational service, releasing the final 150 or so on Feb. 15, 2008.
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