Japan’s KC-767 hits turbulence

ASDF’s in-flight refueling plane damaged during checkup at base
An in-flight refueling airplane sustained damage and was unable to fly in early March during a checkup shortly after it was deployed in late February as Japan’s first plane of its kind at an Air Self-Defense Force base in Komaki, Aichi Prefecture, base officials said Wednesday.
The engine covers on both wings of the KC-767 tanker were damaged March 5 as leading edge flaps on the wings suddenly lowered when a worker was checking the plane in a hangar at the base.
An ASDF member who was in the cockpit said the slats lowered after the electrical system for the slats suddenly came on when the officer was replacing an electric bulb for the hydraulic pump switch, they said.
The base suspects there was some operation error behind the incident.
Two KC-767s, jets developed based on the Boeing 767, have been deployed at the base and were involved in test flights. They are scheduled to be put into full operation in late fiscal 2009, which ends in March 2010.
In-flight refueling planes help to extend the flight range of fighters.

May 21, 2008 12:19:15

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