IAF returns transport, refueling planes to service after maintenance issues

The chief of the Israeli Air Force on Friday ordered the military’s fleet of transport and refueling planes for training flights to return to service next week after grounding them last month.

The decision to ground the C-130 cargo transport planes, known in Hebrew as the Karnaf, and the Boeing 707 refueling plane, known as the Re’em, was due to what the military said was a civilian contractor’s failure to properly maintain them.

The grounding came on the heels of an incident in January in which a C-130 Hercules cargo plane rolled approximately 100 meters into a ditch during an engine check, lightly injuring the two civilian workers carrying out the test.

The military said the decision to return the planes to service came after the IAF and the government-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, which maintains the aircraft, “fixed the immediate shortcomings” and drafted a plan to further improve maintenance and quality control.

A test Thursday confirmed the improvement in the maintenance process, the Israel Defense Forces, and a long-term plan was ordered drawn up in accordance with the decision of the investigative committee established by IAF head Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin.

“The Israeli Air Force will continue to cooperate with Israeli Aerospace Industries, which is a central component of the IAF’s operational capabilities,” a statement from the IDF said.

Last month, the military said its investigation found that the IAI maintenance workers performed the engine test in January incorrectly, in a way that did not adhere to Air Force safety standards, and that the accident was preventable.

In addition to the investigation into the crash itself, the Air Force said it conducted a spot check of IAI’s performance on the base in which the accident occurred and found that “the level of professionalism was inadequate and that the Air Force codes, which IAI is contractually required to uphold, are not being fulfilled.”

The review noted failures to properly document and track work, as well as poor management of tools and equipment, the army said.

Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.

Source Article from https://www.timesofisrael.com/iaf-returns-transport-refueling-planes-to-service-after-maintenance-issues/

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