Boeing recently resumed deliveries of its KC-46A Pegasus aerial refuelling tanker to the US Air Force (USAF) after a second pause for foreign object debris (FOD) concerns.
Boeing spokesperson Chick Ramey said the company delivered the eighth aircraft on 20 April, which was also the fifth tanker to be delivered to McConnell Air Force Base, Kansas. Boeing is working with the air force on its schedule for upcoming deliveries.
Boeing on 20 April resumed deliveries of the KC-46A by delivering its eighth aircraft to the USAF. Deliveries were delayed a second time due to FOD concerns. (Boeing)
USAF spokesperson Captain Cara Bousie said on 23 April that the service decided to resume aircraft deliveries after determining Boeing sufficiently met the conditions of additional USAF-directed FOD inspections. Boeing, she said, continues completing inspections of sealed areas to demonstrate the aircraft are in the proper configuration and sufficiently clear of FOD.
Delivered aircraft can continue to fly as there is no immediate safety of flight issue. Boeing continues to conduct additional company and customer inspections, additional training, and more rigorous clean-as-you-go practices, Ramey said on 23 April.
The USAF has halted KC-46A deliveries twice in 2019 over FOD issues – for 11 days in March and 19 days in April. The air force in March increased inspection and performed periodic spot checks and tracked reduction of FOD from aircraft to aircraft. The FOD that originally halted deliveries in March was waste, tools, and nuts and bolts.