Air Force

May 9, 2014

Aircraft metals technology makes sparks fly

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

Tech. Sgt. Matthew Lucas, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Fabrication Flight aircraft metals technology NCO in-charge, inspects landing gear components April 29 at Luke Air Force Base. Aircraft metals technology technicians inspect and service F-16 Fighting Falcon landing gear components every 72 months.

The diameter of a human eyelash is .05 millimeters. Aircraft metals technology technicians work with metals to build and repair aircraft components and tools, using powerful machines and working within measurements smaller than the diameter of the human eyelash.

“In aircraft metals technology, we have our hands in pretty much everything,” said Tech. Sgt. Matthew Lucas, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron Fabrication Flight aircraft metals technology NCO in-charge. “If something is broken, requiring a measurement or a repair, metals technology is usually called. We have a saying here, ‘It’s not broke until we say it is.’”

Aircraft metal technicians fabricate, repair and make aircraft parts from scratch. They perform measurement inspections, remove stuck and broken hardware, as well as weld engine components and aerospace ground equipment.

“We do a lot of things here,” Lucas said. “We support not only the aircraft maintenance units, but other departments across the base, including the fire department and civil engineering. We are not just limited to aircraft work.”

On an average day, technicians will have anywhere from 18 to 19 jobs come into the shop. Sometimes the jobs are quick fixes. Other times they require extensive repairs, which require them to consult with engineers at Hill Air Force Base, Utah, to acquire the blueprints and documentation needed to perform the job.

An ongoing project for aircraft metal technicians at Luke AFB is maintaining F-16 Fighting Falcon landing gear.

“We take out the landing gear every 72 months to change and inspect all the components,” Lucas said. “We perform measurement checks on all of the meeting points on the landing gear and replace the bushings.”

In-house repairs save the Air Force close to $6 million a year on landing gear alone, Lucas said.

Lucas receives landing gear every two weeks and repairs up to 30 a year. One landing gear takes two to three days to complete.
Technicians use milling machines, lathe machines, drill presses and hand tools to perform their job. With the help of computer aided design equipment, Airmen transfer designs into a machine that cuts the metal.

All repairs are governed by technical orders, however if there is a repair that is not governed in technical orders or someone needs a special tool, technicians create this from scratch.

“We are the magicians who make whatever you need when something goes wrong and it seems like nothing can be done,” said Staff Sgt. Bryan Ehnis, 56th EMS Fabrication Flight aircraft metals technology craftsman. “If there is a job that is difficult to reach with a wrench, we will take that wrench and bend it, to give better access to it.”

Aircraft medals technology maintains the serviceability of AGE equipment and support stands. Airmen weld cracks, support braces and fabricate gates on base.

The variety of work never makes for a dull day.

“I love everything about my job,” Ehnis said. “I have the best job in the Air Force. I get to come in every day, and it is never the same thing.”




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


 
 

 
square

Luke conducts first F-35 training deployment

Senior Airman Thomas Spangler A 61st Fighter Squadron F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis prior to take off April 15 at Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada. Ten F-35s from the 61st Fighter Squadron were sent to Nellis for th...
 
 

The gift of leadership

Gen. Mark Welsh III may have said it best, “Leadership is a gift. It’s given by those who follow. You have to be worthy of it.” As the people of this nation give their children up to serve in the armed forces we as leaders need to be ready to lead them as they are...
 
 

Have faith in Air Force system

Throughout our Air Force careers, we have all received extensive training covering the Air Force core values — integrity first, service before self and excellence in all we do. We talk about them on a daily basis in one capacity or another using them as buzz words to drive our point home or steer a...
 

 

Sidewinders fly missing-man formation

A missing-man formation flyover took place at the Air Force Academy Cemetery April 14, to honor a fallen Airman whose remains were repatriated and laid to rest. Pilots from the 311th Fighter Squadron of the 54th Fighter Group from Holloman Air Force Base, New Mexico, flew it. Capt. Richard Chorlins, U.S. Air Force Academy class...
 
 

Birth of a flagship

Courtesy photo An F-35 Lightning II joint strike fighter taxis at Lockheed Martin’s Fort Worth, Texas, facility just before its first flight March 31. This jet is one of several Lightning IIs destined for Luke Air Force Base in the near future after flight testing. Tail number 5056 is scheduled to be the 56th Fighter...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

Days of Remembrance There will be a Holocaust remembrance ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday in the Luke Air Force Base Chapel sanctuary. The Hiding Place exhibit will be on display 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. May 1 in the chapel annex. AFA golf tournament The 16th Annual Air...
 




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