NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — Airmen conducted a foreign object debris walk here Sept. 14 due to ongoing construction on the airfield.
A FOD walk is a necessary step to ensure pilot and aircraft safety by removing bits of debris from areas where it may do damage to airframes.
“Without everyone’s participation and hard work, we could not have a successful FOD walk, and because of them, the runway is actually open one day ahead of schedule, allowing for any emergency landings to land here,” said Master Sgt. Boyd Ellis, 57th Wing FOD monitor.
A group of 72 Airmen and two sweeper trucks, provided by the 99th Civil Engineer Squadron, participated in the event resulting in a pickup of 28 pounds of FOD.
“FOD walks are necessary on flightlines because we have a lot of fighter aircraft that have a lot of air pressure suction,” Ellis said. “They act like vacuums, and anything on the ground can be sucked up in the engine. Anything as small as a rock can cause millions of dollars of damage to aircraft, and is also a safety issue. If an aircraft does ingest FOD, you are talking about the safety of the pilot.”
Aircraft maintenance units conduct spot checks in their areas at different times, but due to recent construction, the runway was in need of one too,” Ellis said.
The construction included blacktop being added and removed from both sides of the runway to include several spot patches.
“The whole runway needed a FOD walk because I (didn’t) feel like we would have (picked up) all the debris that we did with spot walks alone,” Ellis said.
The next scheduled FOD walk will occur after Aviation Nation which runs Nov. 10 and 11.
“The biggest FOD walk of the year is coming up,” Ellis said. “The post Aviation Nation FOD walk, which is Tuesday the day after Veterans Day, will be our next one.
Everybody from Nellis AFB will be assisting with that. Last year an estimated 2,200 people attended.”