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.


 
 

 

News Briefs August 29, 2014

Gate hours change The South Gate Visitor Registration Center hours have changed. They are 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Effective Tuesday, the North Gate is open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Also on Tuesday, the Kachina Gate will open inbound and outbound 6 a.m. to 10...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Chaplain’s thoughts …

Courtesy photo C.S. Lewis C.S. Lewis has a character in one of his books who speaks of the Law of Undulation. The law is simply this; life is marked by ups and downs. The present unpleasant circumstance that may be marring your...
 
 
DT-140822-F-NQ441-010CROPPED

New SNCOs head back to school

A Luke Honor Guardsman presents the Prisoner of War and Missing in Action table Aug. 22 during the Senior NCO Professional Development Course in the Club Five Six Ballroom at Luke Air Force Base. The table is a reminder of thos...
 

 
Lightening-within-five

Lightning over Luke …

The F-35 Lightning II isn’t the only lightning striking over Luke Air Force Base. This strike, about five miles west of the Luke flightline, was captured on camera at 1:12 a.m. Aug. 12 at the jet engine test cell.
 
 

News Briefs August 22, 2014

Commander’s call Brig. Gen. Scott Pleus, 56th Fighter Wing commander, will hold a commander’s call Monday in the Luke Air Force Base theater at 7 a.m. for Airmen, 9 a.m. for NCOs, 11 a.m. for senior NCOs, 1 p.m. for civilians, 3 p.m. for officers and 5 p.m. for those not able to make another...
 
 
Airman 1st Class 
JAMES HENSLEY

Commandant challenges students to be best

Airman 1st ClassJAMES HENSLEY Master Sgt. Sheris Poisson, 56th Force Support Squadron Airman Leadership School commandant, briefs students Aug. 12 about the active-shooter exercise Aug. 15 at Luke Air Force Base. Poisson asked ...
 




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