Air Force grounds hundreds of training aircraft at 5 bases, cites possible engine problems

The U.S. Air Force has grounded hundreds of its training aircraft because of a potential malfunction in the engines' oil line, the military confirmed Tuesday.

The grounding includes all of the Air Force's T-6A Texas II aircraft, which is a turboprop, single-engine, two-seat aircraft used to train pilots in basic flying skills. A total of 445 aircraft at five bases will be inspected, but it's unclear long the planes will be out of commission, said Capt. Jason Smith, a spokesman for Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas.

The grounding affects Vance Air Force Base in Oklahoma, Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi, and the Laughlin, Randolph and Sheppard bases in in Texas. Smith said there have been no accidents or injuries related to the potential malfunction.

Smith said officials with the Air Education and Training Command decided to temporarily ground the fleet on Friday "following indications of an engine oil line malfunction," and inspectors would determine if any follow-up action is required. The command is based at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph.

The T-6A was first put into use as the Air Force's primary trainer in 2000. The planes are used by all U.S. Air Force pilots, Smith said.

The grounding of planes at the Oklahoma base was first reported Tuesday by the Enid News & Eagle newspaper.