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.


 
 

 
Airman 1st Class James Hensley

Luke cuts ribbon on F-35 Academic Training Center

Airman 1st Class James Hensley Gen. Robin Rand, Air Education and Training Command commander, cuts the ceremonial ribbon Oct. 9 marking the completion of the academic training center building at Luke Air Force Base. The buildin...
 
 
141008-F-HT977-008

Airmen get new ‘Community Commons’

Renovations on Bldg. 700, which houses the Health and Wellness Center, will take place April 2015 through spring 2016 at Luke Air Force Base. Subway and the barbershop will remain open during construction. Other amenities, such...
 
 

News Briefs October 17, 2014

Keep good mental health Calling all Airmen! Sleep disturbances such as insomnia and nightmares can affect people personally and professionally. Reaching out to a medical provider is a step in the right direction to good health. Courtesy of the 56th Medical Group Haunted house The 56th Mission Support Group is featuring Operation: Haunted Block House...
 

 
Courtesy photo

56th RMO: Tip of spear on BMGR, aux field

Courtesy photo Security contractors seized an all-terrain vehicle pulling a trailer loaded with illegal drugs smuggled across the border on the Barry M. Goldwater Range. Drug smugglers will often abandon their load when being p...
 
 

Justice Report

The following is a list of Articles 15 and administrative action issued at Luke Air Force Base in September: 56th Fighter Wing Articles 15 • A senior airman received an Article 15 for violating a lawful general order and making a false official statement. The member received a reduction to the rank of airman first...
 
 
Staff Sgt. Staci Miller

Cardinal’s Fitzgerald coaches mini ‘Bolts

Senior Airman Devante Williams Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona Cardinal wide receiver, avoids being tackled by a participant, during the Larry Fitzgerald Football Camp Monday at Luke Air Force Base. The camp hosted about 130 military...
 




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