Because of worries that their tails might not be mended properly, the U.S. Air Force has ordered the whole fleet of KC-135 tankers to be grounded for inspection.
Once the typically 30-minute examination is finished, no flights are permitted.
Tuesday's order comes after a Friday directive ordering an inspection of all KC-135 tankers for tail pins,
or vertical terminal fitting pins, that are out of specification. While the more recent regulation mandates inspections before the subsequent flight,
Friday's requirement is to be completed over the following two weeks. According to Col. Michael Kovalchuk,
Senior Materiel Leader at the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center's Legacy Tanker Division,
We're taking this measure out of an abundance of caution, after conferring with our engineering experts.