Photos emerged Wednesday of a C-130J transport plane with its nose squarely on the tarmac. The images were circulated on the popular Air Force Facebook page Amn/Nco/Snco.
"The C-130 remains grounded pending a damage assessment. Operational safety is a top priority for Little Rock Air Force Base, and an investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the incident," Little Rock Air Force Base spokesperson Lt. Jessica Cicchetto told Military.com.
Tim Boyer, a spokesman for the 19th Airlift Wing to which the aircraft was assigned, told Task & Purpose the plane’s nose gear had collapsed and that an investigation would determine the extent of the damage.
The Air Force operates 450 of the aircraft, which play a wide variety of roles including cargo transport and air gunship, along with 17 other nations and several US agencies such as the National Weather Service and Forest Service. Introduced in 1956, the aging planes have been repeatedly upgraded to maintain relevance.
However, the Air Force was forced to ground 123 members of their Hercules fleet after “atypical” cracks in the wing joints due to fatigue and corrosion were detected.