Air Force

July 19, 2013

Egress makes difference between life, death

Tags:
Staff Sgt. LUTHER MITCHELL Jr.
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

FROM LEFT: Luis Berrelez, Airman 1st Class Cameron Weston and Harry Webber, 56th Component Maintenance Squadron, examine the ACES II ejection seat July 9 at the 56th CMS egress section. Aircrew egress systems specialists maintain and repair items associated with aircraft escape and survival systems such as warning lights, emergency oxygen systems, canopies, lap belts and shoulder harnesses.

When a Luke F-16 fighter jet crashed in a field adjacent to base on June 26, the student and instructor pilot’s last chance for survival was something most pilots never have to do: eject. Fortunately, both men successfully did so and were recovered on the ground, unharmed.

An incident like this illustrates the importance of the work done behind the scenes by maintainers at Luke AFB.

Members of the 56th Component Maintenance Squadron egress section take pride in making sure the F-16 ejection systems are serviced and maintained properly, because they know that when they’re needed, someone’s life is at stake.

“Egress personnel are responsible for maintaining the whole ejection system,” said Master Sgt. Christopher Wells, 56th CMS egress section chief. “This includes the seats, cockpit and canopy, and all the explosive systems that allow for a successful ejection.”

Egress personnel perform maintenance on egress systems and train daily to ensure mechanical systems perform when needed.

“Scheduling is probably the most important thing,” Wells said. “After that, following technical orders and making sure personnel are trained to do the job. We are out constantly checking munitions to see when they are coming due and working with plans and scheduling to ensure we have the munitions on base. We get a lot of unscheduled jobs assisting other units. From removing seats to rails, it just depends on what’s needed. In egress there is always a lot going on.”

The 56th CMS egress section is comprised of approximately 32 Airmen and civilians. The shop is manned 24 hours a day and has standby crews ready on the weekends.

Egress personnel maintain and repair items associated with the escape and survival systems, such as warning lights, emergency oxygen systems and the recovery sequencer. The recovery sequencer is often the first thing examined after a pilot ejects.

“Normally after an incident, information is gathered from egress equipment on the aircraft,” Wells said. “The recovery sequencer is removed, which is the brain of the ejection system. It takes input from the environmental sensor, which monitors air speed and altitude, and based on that information it decides what ejection sequence needs to occur. We have different sequences, depending on the speed and altitude. The recovery sequencer compiles that information and then determines what munitions need to fire and when. It’s kind of like the black box in a civilian airline.”

In the break room of the egress building is painted a “Wall of Life,” a colorful hand-painted mural that depicts pilots who had to eject here at Luke AFB. Pilots are seen sitting in ejection seats descending behind a blue sky. For egress personnel the wall symbolizes the reason for all the hard work they do.

“The wall was created in 2001, by Master Sgt. Curt Cavazos, an egress technician, before he retired,” said Tech. Sgt. Joel Jones, 56th CMS egress production superintendent. “He wanted to recognize the work we do. We never get to test our systems, so we put faith in our Airmen to make sure our systems are always reliable. This wall captures our defining moment.”

All in all, egress personnel are proud of the work they do. When it’s time to eject, pilots count on them since they can be the difference between life and death. For egress personnel, failure is not an option.




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


 
 

 
Pg-1-Standalone---140411-F-HT977-026

Weather: Exercise component

First responders prepare to transport a simulated injured patient during an extreme weather exercise April 11 at Luke Air Force Base. The exercise was designed to train and evaluate Luke Airmen on readiness and preparation for ...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Plane crash, coma doesn’t deter pilot

Courtesy photo Retired Capt. David Berling, 56th Contracting Squadron contract specialist, stands in front of his 1977 Cessna RG March 23, 2012, at the Glendale Airport. Berling lost his legs in a 2007 plane crash, the subject ...
 
 

Comprehensive support system helps unit resiliency

In today’s Air Force environment of force restructure, budgetary constraints, continued mission requirements and resiliency, establishing a comprehensive support system in a unit is absolutely essential for success. Each organizational tier, whether at the element, flight or squadron level, must be resilient and have support mechanisms in place to not only meet, but exceed daily...
 

 

Preparing for next rank makes successful Airmen

As Airmen we have many responsibilities and duties we must carry out in accordance with our jobs. According to AFI 36-2618, The Enlisted Force Structure, our responsibilities are as follows: junior enlisted Airmen initially focus on adapting to military requirements, achieving occupational proficiency and learning how to become highly productive members of the Air Force....
 
 
Senior Airman
JASON COLBERT

Energy office helps keep lights on

Senior AirmanJASON COLBERT Master Sgt. Adam Kelley, 56th Civil Engineer Squadron base energy manager, explains the value of low wattage light bulbs to Robert Wimp at the Energy Conservation Month booth April 9 at Luke Air Force...
 
 

News Briefs April 18, 2014

Change of command Lt. Col. Jon Wheeler relinquishes command of the 310th Fighter Squadron to Lt. Col. Matthew Warner at 8:31 a.m. today in Hangar 913. Days of Remembrance The 2014 Days of Remembrance of the Holocaust Victims is May 2 at Club Five Six. A Holocaust exhibit of masks of holocaust survivors and paintings...
 




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