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Damaged Wright-Pat C-17 returns to flying status

  • Published
  • 44th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

A 445th Airlift Wing C-17 Globemaster III that experienced a rare tail pipe fire Jan. 7 is now back in the air flying missions.

The C-17 engine fire occurred during engine start. Crew members were alerted of the fire within seconds and followed proper procedures for tail pipe fires, extinguishing it within 20-seconds, minimizing the damage.

Damage to the aircraft was approximately $180,000. Repairs to the engine and adjacent wing area were made by Airmen from the 445th Maintenance Group. The aircraft was out of service for approximately two weeks for repairs. During this time a thorough investigation and damage assessment were completed. The aircraft returned to flying status Jan. 27.

Col. Michael Major, 445th Airlift Wing commander, commended the aircrew and maintenance personnel for their quick response.

"Our aircrew and ground personnel did an awesome job in making sure the fire was extinguished in seconds. They are trained on engine fire procedures and knew exactly what to do as soon as the fire was discovered."

The investigation was completed, pinpointing the cause and accurately assessing damage.  Before the investigation concluded, a dedicated repair team was formed within the 445th Maintenance Group comprised of technicians from various aircraft maintenance specialties.  Repair efforts proceeded rapidly with support from Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer, and the 445th Logistics Readiness Squadron's maintenance supply liaison section.