Growler grounded by left engine fire
By Andrew Tilghman - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Dec 21, 2008 9:26:53 EST
A Navy EA-18G "Growler" made an emergency landing at Nellis Air Force Base in California after its left engine caught on fire on Nov. 17, Navy officials say.
The plane landed safely and nobody was injured. The cause of the fire remains under investigation, said Lt. Cmdr. Charlie Brown, a spokesman for Naval Air Forces.
The aircraft was conducting "routine operational testing" and was one of three assigned to Air Test and Evaluation Squadron Nine based at Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in California, Brown said.
The incident was upgraded to a Class A mishap after a maintenance team determined that the cost of the fire exceeded $1 million, said April Phillips, a spokeswoman for the Naval Safety Center.
The engine fire marked the first Class A mishap for the Growler since the Boeing-made aircraft went into service earlier this year. The Navy plans to buy 88 Growlers, which will replace the EA-6B Prowler as the fleet's primary electronic warfare aircraft.
The Navy has seven Growlers, which are versions of the F/A-18F Super Hornet equipped with radar jamming and other electronic warfare equipment, Brown said.
Three Growlers are assigned to Tactical Electronic Attack Squadron 129, the fleet replacement squadron at NAS Whidbey Island, Wash., Brown said.
One other Growler is at NAS Patuxent River, Md., where Navy officials continue to conduct tests on the aircraft's capabilities, Brown said.
The first operational Growler squadron is expected to reach initial operational capacity by September 2009, Navy officials said.
source: http://www.navytimes.com/news/2008/12/n ... re_122108/