Puerto Rico grounds aircraft similar to WC-130 that crashed in Georgia

Puerto Rico grounds aircraft similar to WC-130 that crashed in Georgia
James Lavine/AP
Scene of WC-130 crash in Georgia on May 2, 2018 which killed all nine people on board.

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello has grounded all aircraft similar to the WC-130 that crashed in Georgia, killing nine members of the Puerto Rico National Guard, until the investigation into the crash is concluded.

Rossello tweeted Friday that he met with the territory’s adjutant general and asked for a report on the condition of the aerial fleet of the Puerto Rico Air National Guard.

The cause of the crash has not been determined.

The plane, from the 156th Airlift Wing on the island, had been in Savannah for “a number of days” undergoing routine maintenance before heading to the Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group in Arizona, said Maj. Paul Dahlen, spokesman for the Puerto Rico National Guard.

AMARG, also known as “The Boneyard,” is an Arizona facility where the military keeps thousands of aircraft in storage.

The investigation is being carried out by the National Guard Bureau and the Air Force, said Brig. Gen. Isabelo Rivera, commanding officer for the Puerto Rico National Guard. A team from Charleston Air Force Base in South Carolina is conducting the investigation,

“Due to the nature of the accident, and the sorrowful loss of life, this investigation will take time,” Rivera said. “We cannot speculate about what happened, it would not be responsible to do so. The Air Force’s investigations will establish the causes of this accident.”

The WC-130 is a variant of the widely used C-130. Produced continuously since 1954, the C-130 is a reliable and versatile aircraft with several iterations. It can be outfitted for transport, reconnaissance, search and rescue, research, refueling, patrol or as a gunship.

Twenty-seven US service members have died in noncombat-related wrecks of military aircraft this year, with seven people killed in four crashes that occurred over four days.