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US Navy T-45 Goshawk training aircraft return to flight

A T-45C Goshawk attached to Training Air Wing (TW) 2 receives fuel aboard the aircraft carrier, USS George H W Bush (CVN 77). The ship is conducting sustainment exercises to maintain carrier readiness. (US Navy)

The US Navy (USN) fleet of Boeing T-45 Goshawk training aircraft has returned to flight following a month-long grounding, according to Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR). The type was grounded on 12 April following an engine malfunction during a training flight; the crew landed safely.

“Preliminary findings, reviewed by NAVAIR and the Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office, suggest the aircraft involved in the incident may have experienced an engine blade failure due to a manufacturing defect on a low-pressure compressor blade,” NAVAIR told Janes on 13 May, noting that the accident investigation was still ongoing.

As of that date, 113 T-45s had been inspected and certified safe to return to flight, said NAVAIR. An additional 41 are undergoing inspections with intent to return them to flight as soon as possible. A total of 154 engines – including spares – had been inspected.

“The T-45s that were returned to flight status contain blades that have been meticulously and methodically inspected as well as blades produced by a different manufacturer that have more than 1.6 million flight hours without a similar manufacturing defect observed,” said NAVAIR.

The T-45 is powered by a single Rolls-Royce Turbomeca F405-RR-401, which can generate 26 kN (5,845 lb) of thrust, according to Janes: All the World's Aircraft .

This is not the first such fan blade issue T-45s have encountered. The T-45 fleet was grounded in October 2022 for similar fan blade problems and were returned to flight following inspections of individual engines.

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