The Navy’s fleet of carrier-capable training jets have been grounded for almost a week due to an engine fault discovered earlier this month, Navy officials told USNI News on Thursday.
The service’s 193 T-45C Goshawk trainers used to train Navy and Marine Corps pilots are now in a “safety pause” following an engine blade fault discovered during a pre-flight check on Oct. 11 at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas, Elizabeth Fahrner, a spokeswoman with Program Executive Officer Tactical Aircraft Programs (PEO(T)), told USNI News on Thursday.
A subsequent engineering analysis of the Rolls-Royce Turbomeaca F405-RR401 engine prompted the grounding of the T-45C fleet by Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. Richard Brophy.
“The Naval Undergraduate Flight Training Systems Program Office, Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division, Chief of Naval Air Training and Fleet Support Team have been working around the clock with industry partner Rolls Royce to identify the root cause of the recent T-45 engine blade failure. Engineering analysis has been underway and will continue until we can safely return the T-45 fleet to a flying status to support CNATRA’s training,” PEO T Rear Adm. John Lemmon said in an Oct. 18 statement.
A message left with a Rolls-Royce spokesman by USNI News was not immediately returned.
The Goshawks, capable of an arrested landing and catapult launch on an aircraft carrier, are the primary training aircraft for Navy and Marine Corps fighter pilots.
Pilots-in-training are working around the T-45C grounding by attending more classroom instruction and simulator training, a Navy spokesperson told USNI News.
Across all platforms, CNTRA has an annual goal of producing about 1,100 pilots a year for the Navy.