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.


 
 

 
Airman 1st Class 
PEDRO MOTA

MMA ramps up combat training

Airman 1st ClassPEDRO MOTA Team Ill Brasil brings a new style of martial arts to the base. The Luke Air Force Base Bryant Fitness Center now offers discipline specific martial arts training Monday through Friday at the Combat T...
 
 

DUI in Arizona: You can’t afford it

Arizona has some of the toughest drunken driving laws in the United States. The average overall cost of a DUI in the state of Arizona is around $10,000. Crazy, right? Ten thousand dollars may seem hard to swallow at first, but first time offenders often find themselves paying considerable unforeseen expenses throughout the course of...
 
 

Is being good, good enough?

In today’s Air Force can you settle with just being good? I say, “No.” With the Air Force executing the deepest force cuts since the end of the cold war with programs such as the Quality Force Review Board and the Enlisted Retention Board, what you do and how well you do it matters more...
 

 

Your career – as easy as 1, 2, 3

Oftentimes at retirements we hear the phrase, “This is one chapter in my life.” No matter what our goal is, whether it is to serve for four years or 20 years, each of us will leave the Air Force at some point. This leads to the question, “What does it take to have an Air...
 
 
Tech. Sgt.
LOUIS VEGA, Jr.

Reserve recruiter has heart of bull

Tech. Sgt.LOUIS VEGA, Jr. Master Sgt. Stanley Iakopo, Air Force Reserve Command recruiter with the 944th Fighter Wing, puts Joe Vigil, pro fighter and assistant trainer, in a hold while training at Peraza Boxing and Mixed Marti...
 
 

News Briefs July 18, 2014

Base-wide exercise The 56th Fighter Wing will conduct an active-shooter exercise Aug. 15. The exercise will include military and local, county and state law enforcement, and fire departments. On and off-base residents should expect traffic disruptions, gate closures or delays, and interruptions of customer service operations. Expect to see simulated explosions, smoke, role players depicting...
 




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