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RAAF investigating C-27J landing incident at Waco

written by australianaviation.com.au | May 18, 2016

Waco Regional Airport in Texas was closed for most of Tuesday after an RAAF C-27J Spartan suffered a reported double tyre blow-out while conducting touch-and-goes during a pilot training flight.

“The Royal Australian Air Force has commenced a safety investigation after a C-27J Spartan aircraft had an incident on landing at the conclusion of a routine training flight at Waco Airport, Texas, USA at approx 12am (local US time),” the Department of Defence confirmed in a media statement on Wednesday morning.

“No one was injured in the incident.”



“An assistant Waco fire chief said the airplane’s crew had attempted a landing late Monday night, but the plane may have touched down short of the runway and damaged two tyres,” Waco television station KWTX reported.

The incident saw the runway at Waco closed until 7pm Tuesday evening, forcing the cancellation of a number flights into and out of the airport.

“The runway was temporarily closed to other aircraft so that the C-27J Spartan could be moved. Air Force thanks local airport, emergency services and security staff who are assisting with the recovery and apologises for the inconvenience to other airfield users,” Defence stated.

Defence said the aircraft was flying: “a pilot qualification flight for RAAF pilots converting to the new C-27J Spartan battlefield airlifter, flown alongside industry instructors”.

Ten C-27Js are on order for the RAAF, of which two have been delivered to Australia so far. The aircraft are built by Alenia (recently renamed Leonardo Aircraft) in Italy but L-3 Communications is the prime contractor for the aircraft under a US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) arrangement, modifying the C-27Js with mission systems and undertaking pilot conversion training at Waco.

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Comments (12)

  • Jason


    Oh dear, another delay to an already delayed program? Who said FMS was easy?

  • Sean


    And then there were nine .

  • Mick


    Anyone got the stock number for those spare Hercules??

  • Jon


    Hopefully there is little or no damage to the C-27j. Maybe just need new tyres.

  • Sam


    Jason in regards to FMS… Let me point out some recent ones

    C-17 – Worked
    F/A-18F and G – Worked
    MH-60R – Worked
    CH-47F – Worked

    Let me point out some non FMS

    ARH Tiger – 11 years and only just FOC (marginally)
    MRH 90 – issues
    SH-2G Seasprite – cancelled

  • Jason


    Yeah Sam…thanks for the education, but all of the FMS examples you have pointed out are off the shelf identical to those systems used by parent US services.

    While it may have started out that way, the C-27J certainly is no longer an off the shelf system used by any parent service. The build program is late, the mod program is late, and the training system had to be built from scratch.

    I was actually making a flippant comment specifically about C-27J, and perhaps wondering out loud what Airbus might be thinking?!

  • rpaps5


    Thanks so much for your flippant comment & clarification… Who cares what Airbus is thinking.
    A C295W can land short of the runway also and I don’t think they carry unburstable tyres.
    the reasons for original selection are mostly still valid.
    This was a training flight, and by definition it exists to train aircrew to operate the aircraft to required standards – errors are going to happen during the course of getting there.

  • mick181


    Sam the Growlers haven’t been delivered yet so you can’t really say they worked, at present they are on time and probably will be delivered on time but that is a couple of yrs away.

  • Jon


    The C-27j is a much more capable airlifter than the C-295. Not only in internal dimensions, more robust and greater payload. In the following article they list 23 items that the battle field airlifter are required to take. The C-27j can take all the items, but the C-295 can take only 7.

  • Blacky


    Ahhh…the hot heads of aviation battle out another superiority contest of what spec is better and who is the better provider!!

  • peter


    C-27J is a much better tactical airlifter than C-295 (W included) can carry real military vehicles, fully equipped tall paratroops, heavy loaded pallets faster,higher and safer due to better redundancies

  • Jan


    Jason. Three options were considered by Defence: C27J (from Alenia), C27J (FMS Joint Cargo Version intended for USAF and US Army) and C295. The C27J JCA version IS an off-the-shelf US military version with all the extras we wanted in the product baseline. If we’d bought the C27J direct from Alenia, it wouldn’t have been off-the-shelf with all the extras we would have added. Same applies to C295. The C27J JCA version was the best choice. The reality of comparing the C27J and C295 in the same class is like comparing the C17 and C130. Physically and capability wise they are not the same.

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