The issue wound up causing $4 million in damage to oxygen systems on one of the two jets comprising Air Force One.
Colloquially, Air Force One has come to mean the president’s private, highly customizable Boeing 747-200B series aircraft. Technically, however, any US Air Force aircraft carrying the president earns the title Air Force One.
A mishap involving the use of a contaminated regulator and other tools during jet maintenance in April 2016 led to the potential fire hazard. Contractors’ failure to abide by explicit warnings for work on oxygen systems, inadequate oversight of the mistake and insufficient mechanic training were also cited in the Accident Investigation Board report created by Air Force Material Command.
Specifically, tools used to work on the plane must be sanitized to clean off any materials that might react when they come in contact with oxygen. But one mechanic was quoted as lackadaisically telling another repairman, “Here [is] some cleaning fluid. Do with it what you want. Use it if you want, but I don’t know anything about it.”
The Air Force said the hiccup was “discovered after an unapproved regulator was found connected to the passenger oxygen system.”
“We fully understand the level of responsibility that comes from working on the president’s aircraft,” a Boeing spokesman told the Air Force Times.
The Chicago-based aerospace and defense firm paid the $4 million in expenses to resolve the issue.