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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rotorcraft Report: V-22/CH-47 Lines Temporarily Halted Amid Fear of Sabotage

MILITARY

On November 21, Boeing halted production on the V-22 Osprey and CH-47 Chinook lines at its Ridley Township plant outside of Philadelphia. This action came after a worker discovered a plastic cap in the fuel line of an Osprey. Boeing could not immediately prove that the cap got there by accident, so, by protocol spelled out in its government contract, an immediate shutdown of the assembly process was ordered and an official government investigation into the possibility of sabotage was begun.

The plant, however, returned to full operation on December 26, a mere five days after a preliminary investigation revealed no malice in the mishap. All other aircraft on the property were deemed safe.

A confirmed act of sabotage on the facility’s Chinook line occurred in May of 2008, when a former employee confessed to maliciously cutting wires inside of a fuselage. A washer was also found in a transmission.

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