Local

October 26, 2012

Airmen from Hill AFB pack, crate F-16

The 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group depot team from Hill prepares to lift the F-16 fuselage during the pack and crate operation. The “belly bands” are capable of lifting an aircraft with an approximate weight of 25,000 pounds. Depot teams deploy worldwide to perform specific and critical repairs on U.S. and foreign military fighter aircraft.

Boxing and shipping F-16s is not a typical occurrence at Luke Air Force Base, but that’s exactly what a group of Airmen from Hill Air Force Base, Utah, came here to do.

“We were sent to Luke Air Force Base Oct. 1 in order to pack and ship an F-16, since there was some damage to the harnesses or wiring (which controls) multiple electrical components,” said Tech. Sgt. Leonard Deleon, 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group depot fuel systems technician. “Given the amount of damage on the aircraft, aircraft engineers decided it should go to Hill where it will be repaired.”

Luke is capable of repairing minor damages, but the repairs needed for this F-16 required outside resources.

“The F-16 is being sent to Hill because the wiring repair needed is a higher level of repair than what Luke is capable of doing,” said Tech. Sgt. Jason Koth, 309th AMXG depot aircraft maintenance technician. “Hill is one of three bases that do this type of repair, since they have the special equipment, tools and facilities needed to make the repair.”

The depot team from Hill AFB lifts the aircraft to position it on the fuselage cradle for shipment back to Hill during a pack and crate operation for an F-16 Fighting Falcon that cannot be repaired at Luke Air Force Base.

Koth said the Airmen from Hill always come prepared with the necessary equipment because shipping an aircraft such as an F-16 is no small feat.

“We had to pack items such as tools, specially designed boxes used for shipment of aircraft components and a fuselage cradle,” Koth said. “We won’t leave our home station until we know all the items have arrived.”

The complex aircraft required the Airmen’s various expertise to be dismantled safely and successfully.

The cradle is positioned to receive the F-16 fuselage being crated and packed for shipment to Hill AFB. The aircraft must be supported in specific locations to eliminate unnecessary stress and damage to the airframe. This specific depot team consists of 56 individuals from five career fields.

“We are a team of 10 Airmen made up of one team chief, two crew chiefs, one sheet metal, five electricians and one fuels technician,” Koth said. “Each person plays a specific role in taking apart the aircraft, and we are also trained to do each other’s jobs. So, for example, if we don’t have any sheet-metal work to do we can move that person into another slot. This makes the process go a lot smoother.”

Koth said it takes about two weeks and approximately 800 man hours to take apart the F-16 from start to finish.

For the 309th AMXG Airmen, Luke is one of many places they have visited this year.

Tech. Sgt. Robert Baldwin, 309th Aircraft Maintenance Group depot aircraft maintenance technician, and Tech. Sgt. Daniel Nelson, 309th AMXG depot electrical/environmental technician, remove the vertical stabilizer. This specific vertical stabilizer was reinstalled on another Luke F-16.

“Our job is a special duty, which is a four-year commitment,” Deleon said. “And there are times we have to make sacrifices for the sake of the mission. We are sometimes gone up to two months at a time.”

Despite these many sacrifices, for one Airman being a part of the 309th AMXG is an honor.

“Doing this job has been one of the highlights of my career because I love to travel and because you’ll never see the type of stuff we do in the depot world out on the flightline,” Koth said.

The aircraft is wrapped prior to shipment. It takes about three hours to wrap and secure the aircraft to the shipping cradle.




All of this week's top headlines to your email every Friday.


 
 

 
Senior Airman Devante Williams

Luke 1 brings home flagship

Senior Airman Devante Williams Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, speaks with the press after landing the flagship F-35 Lightning ll joint strike fighter Tuesday at Luke Air Force Base. The flagship’s arriva...
 
 

Every Airman has a voice

While Gen. Mark Welsh III was here at Luke Air Force Base, he discussed the importance of listening to your young Airmen, and making sure they feel empowered to have open dialogue and share ideas within their chain of command. As the NCO in charge of my section, I took General Welsh’s words to heart...
 
 

Off-base activities build your CAF

The Critical Days of Summer draw near. I know that in our shop this kicks off a slew of safety briefings about how to minimize the chance of injuries and stay out of danger. However, this shouldn’t discourage you from going out and exploring the Valley of the Sun. Luke is an amazing base because...
 

 
Senior Airman 
MARCY COPELAND

Love thy feet

Senior AirmanMARCY COPELAND Senior Airman Yadria Wood, 56th Medical Operations Squadron aerospace medical technician, wraps a toe after a wedge resection is performed April 16 on Luke Air Force Base. The human foot contains 26 ...
 
 

News Briefs May 1, 2015

BMGR IEC convenes The Intergovernmental Executive Committee for the Barry M. Goldwater Range will convene at 5:30 p.m. May 13 in Cabela’s Conference Room at 9380 W. Glendale Ave., Glendale. The IEC meets three times per year to facilitate the exchange of views, information and advice relating to the Air Force and Marine Corps’ management...
 
 

Trainee breaks 90 percent, never looks back

“Lee, get off my track!” the instructor yelled. The time clock showed that 21 minutes had passed. Everyone in my flight was finished with the mile-and-a-half run except me. I didn’t finish. Before that we had been mock tested on the sit-up and pushup portion of the test. I performed six sit-ups and zero pushups...
 




0 Comments


Be the first to comment!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>


Directory powered by Business Directory Plugin