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An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C, shown here, returned to flight on Oct. 23, 2014, after some 17 months of downtime due to damage. Air National Guard photo by TSgt. John Hughel

An Oregon Air National Guard F-15C assigned to the 142nd Fighter Wing in Portland recently returned to flight after some 17 months of downtime and $1.4 million in complex repairs. The Eagle's right main tire exploded in the wheel bay, distending the engine inlet duct, sending some 50 rivets through the engine, and ripping the bay-door from the aircraft on May 14, 2013, according to a unit release. "The motor ingested all those rivets and kept working," said Lt. Col. Bill Kopp, 142nd FW safety officer. A Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex depot team from Georgia removed both of the aircraft's wings early this year to allow a second team of structural repair technicians to rebuild the area surrounding the intake. Air Guard and depot specialists fabricated components, but ultimately had to work with F-15 manufacturer Boeing to secure the new intake skin from a different model F-15 from a production batch for Saudi Arabia, states the release. The F-15C, serial number 84-0007, returned to flight on Oct. 23.