The US has helped the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) repair a C-17A Globemaster for the first time under a cross-servicing agreement.

The RAAF’s C-17A suffered a cracked engine inlet during a mission to Alaska, US, in August.

The US Air Force (USAF) performed the inlet repair under the Aircraft Repair and Maintenance Service – Implementing Arrangement (ARMS-IA) signed in June to improve readiness and cooperation.

ARMS-IA allows US and Australian C-17 technicians to undertake cross-maintenance work on each others’ aircraft at mission-critical times on a global scale.

The arrangement is intended to reduce aircraft maintenance downtime and increase availability.

The crack on the engine inlet of the RAAF C-17A Globemaster was found on the anti-ice duct that is designed to prevent the formation of ice on the front of the engine housing while flying in moist air.

No 36 Squadron Warrant Officer of Engineering Warrant Officer Pete Ranson said: “The jet arrived at Elmendorf Air Force Base in Alaska on August 30, and the crack was detected a part of the post-flight inspection.”

The cracked inlet had the potential of causing serious damage for the engine housing and aircraft.

Replacement equipment was sourced from McChord Air Force Base, which is the nearest facility to the inlet.

Ranson added: “Due to the size of the part, it was decided that it was more expedient to fly the aircraft to the inlet, versus transporting the inlet to the aircraft.

“Boeing released an engineering disposition to stop-drill the crack and authorised a one-time ferry flight from Elmendorf to McChord.

“The amount of cracking was deemed acceptable enough to allow a short ferry flight.”

Technicians from the USAF’s 62nd Maintenance Squadron changed the engine inlet at McChord.