US Navy returns first T-6A to USAF following inspection

The US Navy announced on February 11 that its Fleet Readiness Center Southeast (FRCSE) had completed the first aircraft condition inspection (ACI) on a US Air Force (USAF)-operated Beechcraft T-6A Texan II.

Located at Naval Air Station (NAS) Jacksonville in Florida, the FRCSE received the first T-6A turboprop trainer aircraft from the USAF on August 26, 2020 and returned it to the service on January 29, 2021. In what was a historic first, the FRCSE completed its first ACI, strip and paint process on a USAF-operated Texan II during the five months it was housed at the Florida naval base.

T-6A Texan II [US Navy/Benjamin Hayes]
On January 29, 2021, Beechcraft T-6A Texan II, serial 03-6201 (c/n PT-252) - the first aircraft to complete the ACI process with the FRCSE - departed NAS Jacksonville, Florida, for Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas on delivery back to the USAF. US Navy/Benjamin Hayes

The US Navy states that the ACI “targets the airframe’s structural integrity and replaces or repairs areas and components identified by various specifications.” It added that the inspection required experts from various industrial trades, including sheet metal mechanics, electricians, NDI specialists, machinists, mechanics, production controllers, quality assurance specialists and aircraft examiners, among others.

Clint Batten, FRCSE’s Trainers Production Line Lead, said: “The trainer production line only accounts for approximately 60% of the touch labour, which highlights the incredible collaboration that happens across the facility, to include processes, components, manufacturing, flight test and [the] trainers production line. Each T-6 that flies out of FRCSE is truly a team effort, and it takes everyone tugging the rope together to make it happen.”

The FRCSE currently has four additional USAF-operated T-6As in-house at NAS Jacksonville – all of which are undergoing the same ACI process. It is expecting to induct seven more examples by the end of Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21). The schedule for FY22 has yet to be determined.