MEMPHIS, Dec. 23 (UPI) -- Military engineers were in Tennessee on Sunday to try to determine why the wing of a U.S. Air Force C-141 Starlifter collapsed during refueling for a trip to Germany.
The damaged wing of the Air National Guard aircraft spilled 9,000 gallons of jet fuel onto the tarmac late Friday at the National Guard facility at Memphis International Airport.
The C-141 was headed to Ramstein Air Base in Germany to replace one of four C-141's that fly military supply missions as part of the European Strategic Intertheater Deployment, said Col. Fred Smith, vice commander of the 164th Airlift Wing of the Tennessee Air National Guard.
"We are trying to ascertain whether it's just a single airplane problem or if it's a fleetwide problem," said Smith.
Until the investigation has been completed, the Air Force has temporarily grounded its fleet of C-141 cargo planes. The "stand down" issued by the Air Mobility Command at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois affects 99 C-141s worldwide.
Military officials say the C-141 is not being used in Afghanistan, where the more modern C-17 cargo planes are being used.