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.


 
 

 
Tech. Sgt. 
BARBARA PLANTE

944th Airmen live life as military couple

Tech. Sgt.BARBARA PLANTE Staff Sgt. Adam Jenkins and Senior Airman Cassandra Jenkins, 944th Logistics Readiness Squadron, are a dual-military couple and work together as maintainers in the refueling vehicle maintenance shop. St...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Walt Disney inspires squadron

Courtesy photo While stationed at Luke Field, Sgt. Seymour Pine had the unique privilege of accepting the 62nd Fighter Squadron emblem of a boxing bulldog from the artist who drew it — Walt Disney. Everyone had a role to play...
 
 

Air Force News – August 28, 2015

Alaska A C-130 Hercules assigned to the36th Airlift Squadron from Yokota Air Base, Japan, became the first U.S. aircraft to drop Japan Ground Self-Defense Force members onto U.S. soil, Aug. 12 during Red Flag-Alaska. Paris U.S. Ambassador to France, Jane Hartly, recognized Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone for his actions in saving countless lives during...
 

 

People First – August 28, 2015

SAPR services offered to Air Force civilians The Air Force released a policy memo Monday allowing Air Force civilian employees who are victims of sexual assault to file restricted and unrestricted reports with their installation’s sexual assault response coordinator. The policy is effective immediately and allows SARCs and sexual assault prevention and response victim advocates to...
 
 
Courtesy photo

Airmen bring economic opportunity to Afghan women: T-bolt receives AETC public service award

Courtesy photo The idea for the nonprofit came from Capt. Jon Hudgins after he received a Christmas card from home with a picture in which he saw almost every woman wearing a scarf. “Mankind must put an end to war before war ...
 
 
Senior Airman James Hensley

Mentoring provides solutions to challenging times

Senior Airman James Hensley Staff Sgt. John Morin shows Airman 1st Class Kevin Dawson, 56th Comptroller Squadron customer service technicians, where he stands in tasks completed on Air Force Training Records on the Air Force po...
 




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=""> <s> <strike> <strong>