The Navy and Marine Corps' fleet of T-45 training jets was placed on a safety pause after an aircraft's engine blade failed at Naval Air Station Kingsville, TX.
The fault was discovered after an aircraft experienced a low-pressure compressor blade failure prior to take off, Navy spokeswoman Elizabeth Fahrner told Inside Defense in a statement.
The service has 193 T-45C Goshawk aircraft to train its Navy and Marine Corps pilots.
When asked if the blade will need to be redesigned, Fahrner said it’s “too early to determine since the engineering analysis is still ongoing.”
This summer, the Navy ordered a safety pause for all non-deployed aviation units after multiple crashes involving Navy and Marine Corps aircraft.
The Navy has been working “around the clock” with Rolls Royce, which provides support for the T-45 engines, to identify the root cause of the engine blade failure, said Rear Adm. John Lemmon, program executive officer for tactical aircraft programs in yesterday’s press release.
“Flight operations will remain paused until we can safely return the T-45 fleet to a flying status. Training air wings and squadrons are currently looking to maximize ground training, including classroom lectures, simulators and computer-based training,” Fahrner said.
The Navy wants to replace the T-45C fleet with a more advanced tactical trainer, according to a request for information released last fall. The Air Force is seeking a similar trainer aircraft, but the services have yet to decide whether it will be a joint program.