Air Force

August 8, 2014

Critical find by Airman just doing job

Tags:
Senior Airman GRACE LEE
56th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

Senior Airman Jessica Reitano, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintenance journeyman, checks the swedge of a hydro line with a go-no-go gauge July 25 in Bldg. 985 at Luke Air Force Base. The swedge is checked to ensure there are no leaks in the line.

Every Airman plays an essential role in the Air Force mission, but sometimes it only takes one Airman to discover something so great it not only saves Air Force lives and money, but affects bases worldwide.

Senior Airman Jessica Reitano, 56th Equipment Maintenance Squadron aircraft structural maintenance journeyman, received the Wing Quarterly Flight Maintenance Award July 22 at wing standup for going above and beyond to ensure the F-16 Fighting Falcons at Luke Air Force Base are safe to fly.

It was May 6 during the dayshift on the flightline when she was called out to inspect an F-16 D model two-seat aircraft.

“Before I got there, they thought the problem was that a few rivets, which are short metal pins to hold two plates of metal together, needed to be replaced since they were sheared off near the top,” Reitano said. “To replace them, the sidewall fairing first had to be removed to allow access.”

The Airmen worked quickly to have the fairing removed before calling Reitano back to replace the rivets.

“I used a mirror to find the backside of the rivets, so I could knock them out and replace them, but when I looked back there, I could see a crack straight through the seam,” Reitano said. “That’s how I found the issue.”

While she did not know it at the time, the cracked area that Reitano discovered was not only the first such crack ever found, but affected 80 percent of the jet’s structural integrity. If it had flown, it possibly could have withstood only two g-forces with a high probability of splitting apart during flight.

News of her findings rapidly up-channeled throughout the maintenance squadron, group leadership, as well as depot structural engineers from Lockheed Martin, and the decision was made to immediately ground all the F-16 D model aircraft at Luke.

“Once the aircraft were grounded, an immediate local one-time inspection was done on all the aircraft,” said Master Sgt. Brian Leonard, 56th EMS flight chief. “The results of our inspection at Luke led to the publication of a technical order which provided direction for the inspection of the canopy still longerons on all the F-16 D model aircraft worldwide.”

Reitano’s actions not only saved aircraft but lives.

“We could have potentially lost an entire $25 million aircraft,” Leonard said. “There is also no price that can be put on the lives of the two Airmen flying the aircraft if the worst had happened. Senior Airman Reitano demonstrated outstanding maintenance professionalism when she thoroughly inspected an aircraft and found a critical problem even though initially the discrepancy looked to be relatively minor. Instead of simply addressing just the discrepancy of two broken rivets, she visually inspected the entire area to determine proper clearance for maintenance repair actions and looked for any other damage in the area.”

Although Reitano is confident that any one of the Airmen she works with could have seen the issue, she is grateful to be recognized for her actions.

“I feel honored to have won the award,” Reitano said. “I’m very thankful to my supervisors for putting me up for it, and it’s finding things like this and making a difference, that makes my job so rewarding. My favorite part of this job is no matter how many times you work on the same jet, there could always be something you’ve never done.”




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


 
 

 

Air Force News – October 17, 2014

Germany Airmen with the 37th Airlift Squadron at Ramstein Air Base loaded a C-130J Super Hercules with needed supplies Oct. 7 and launched their first mission to West Africa in support of Operation United Assistance. The team of Airmen flying with the aircraft made stops in Spain, Senegal and Liberia, an area heavily affected by...
 
 

People First – October 17, 2014

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services.  Air Force releases criteria for new service medal Air Force officials released nomination criteria for the new Nuclear...
 
 
Grace Lee

New Knowledge Management Cell helps save Airmen time, money

Grace Lee Staff Sgt. Brian Gosha, 56th Communications Squadron SharePoint owner, briefs Airmen Sept. 30 on what they will learn in the Knowledge Management Cell at Luke Air Force Base. The training educated Luke Airmen on the i...
 

 

vESD new way to fix e-issues

Air Force cyber support is changing. No longer will users call the Enterprise Service Desk and wait for a technician to solve their issue. Starting early November, Air Education and Training Command base computers will have a Virtual Enterprise Service Desk application installed which can be used to fix users’ and Information Assurance Officers’ electronic...
 
 

Air Force News – October 10, 2014

Maryland Six Air Force organizations moved under Air Force Materiel Command Oct. 1 to integrate and form the Air Force Installation and Mission Support Center when it’s activated in 2015. The Air Force realigned to AFMC the Civil Engineer Center, Financial Services Center, Installation Contracting Agency and Security Forces Center along with the Cost Analysis...
 
 

People First – October 10, 2014

Editor’s Note: The “People First” section is compiled from information from the Air Force Personnel Center, TRICARE, 56th Force Support Squadron, Airman and Family Readiness Flight, Veterans Affairs, the civilian personnel office and armed forces news services. For the complete story, go to the web address listed at the end of the story. AF ensures...
 




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