Prop Cracks Prompt Air Force To Ground Some C-130H Cargo Transports

The cracks in the propeller assembly were discovered after a technician noticed a persistent leak on a C-130H propeller, the Air Force said.

C-130H Hercules are capable of operating from rough, dirt strips and are the prime transport for airdropping troops and equipment into hostile areas. [Courtesy: U.S. Air Force]

The Air Force has grounded some of its C-130 Hercules cargo transports after cracks were discovered in older propeller barrel assemblies, according to Air Mobility Command officials.

The cracks were discovered by a technician at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (KWRB), Georgia, who noticed a persistent leak on a C-130H propeller during a post-depot operation engine run check. 

"When the propeller assembly was removed and turned into the WR-ALC Prop Shop, a technician noted a crack in the propeller barrel assembly," a spokesperson for Air Mobility Command (AMC) told FLYING in a statement. 

Additional inspections revealed that two other propeller assemblies had the same issue, prompting the command to issue an order for a field level visual inspection on all C-130H aircraft with installed 54H60 props.

"After additional review, including metallurgical and detailed stress analysis, the command released an immediate-action [Time Compliance Technical Order] TCTO directing replacement of a variety of specific suspect propellers," the AMC spokesperson said.

The order targets aircraft with older propeller assemblies and not the entire fleet. "C-130H aircraft that have the NP2000 upgraded propeller assembly are not affected by the TCTO, nor are any C-130J models," the Air Force said.

As many as 116 C-130Hs could be grounded during inspections, AMC spokesperson Maj. Beau Downey said, Air and Space Forces Magazine reported.

Kimberly is managing editor of FLYING Digital.

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