Days before the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush set out from Norfolk last month, the Navy had to scramble to fix a major problem with the ship’s squadron of early warning, command and control aircraft.
The engines on three of the squadron’s four E-2C Hawkeye aircraft had been damaged and needed to be replaced at a cost of at least $2 million.
“Improper engine oil servicing,” according to Naval Air Force Atlantic.
“The damage occurred over a period of time and it involved the use of a lubricant not approved or specified for these engines,” Naval Air Force Atlantic spokesman Mike Maus said in response to questions from The Virginian-Pilot.
“A thorough investigation is being conducted to determine how and why this procedure was allowed.”
It was a costly error for each $80 million, twin-engine turboprop aircraft.
The damage value of at least $2 million, according to the Naval Safety Center, put it into its most serious classification for damage. It wasn’t immediately clear when the need to replace the engines became apparent, but the Naval Safety Center listed the mishap date as Jan. 19 — two days before the Bush deployed.