Defense

November 4, 2013

Maintainers use ultrasound to keep KC-10s ready to fly

Tags:
SSgt. Patrick Harrower
Travis AFB, Calif.

SSgt. Rebecca Linden de Romero, 60th Maintenance Squadron nondestructive inspection shop technician, performs an ultrasound inspection inside the control box for the elevators on the tail of a KC-10 Extender Oct. 22 at Travis Air Force Base, Calif.

When most people hear the term ultrasound, they might think of the machine that helps monitor the health and development of the early stages of life.

For the airmen of the 60th Maintenance Squadron nondestructive inspections shop, an ultrasound inspection can be surprisingly similar to that.

According to one technician, inside the tail section of a KC-10 Extender is a control box that can be moved up and down, which in turn, causes the elevators on the tail to move. The location of the control box is difficult to get to. The area is cramped, dark and can get warm. However, much like any other aircraft component, it still must be inspected regularly.

“Every KC-10 gets this inspection every 90 days,” said Staff Sgt. Rebecca Linden de Romero, 60th MXS. “We use ultrasound technology to see what is going on inside the panels of the box. The sound reflects through the surface and back to the machine where we can track any cracks or other potential problems the naked eye cannot see.”

To maintain total accuracy, the technicians use standard blocks that are made with the same material and physical dimensions as the parts on the aircraft, Linden de Romero said. These blocks are used to calibrate the ultrasound equipment before the inspection to give the technicians a frame of reference for exactly what they should see.

Linden de Romero commented that the measurements must be precise, as the condition of the plane can be based on them. If the technicians find a problem that deems the aircraft bad, it must go to another base for higher-level repair.

Accuracy aside, there also is a physical component that presents a unique challenge to the technicians when they perform an ultrasound.

“We can inspect 98 percent of the area just fine,” said TSgt. Zach Williams, 349th MXS. “But for 100 percent coverage, someone needs to go inside of the box. Our whole shop could be fully qualified to do the inspection, but if nobody can physically get in there, we can’t call the job complete.”

The 60th MXS nondestructive inspections shop spends a lot of time ensuring technicians know how to perform an ultrasound inspection, he said.

“We have gotten so proficient at this inspection that we have a lot of engineers come to us to have a set of Travis eyes check their work before they go somewhere else,” Williams said. “It’s a real confidence booster.”




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


 
 

 

Headlines July 28, 2014

News: U.S. has lost track of weapons given to Afghanistan - The United States supplied almost three quarter of a million weapons to Afghanistan’s army and police since 2004, but the military cannot track where many of those arms have gone, a new report found. Bill to improve VA has $17 billion price tag - A bipartisan...
 
 

News Briefs July 28, 2014

Marines seek authorization for dolphin deaths The Marine Corps is asking for a five-year authorization from the National Marine Fisheries Service for incidental deaths of bottlenose dolphins during training exercises at a bombing and target range. The Sun Journal of New Bern, N.C., reports that Connie Barclay of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says...
 
 
Army photograph by David Vergun

Senior leaders explain Army’s drawdown plan

Army photograph by David Vergun No commander is happy when notified that a soldier from his or her command has been identified for early separation. But commanders personally notify those Soldiers and ensure participation in th...
 

 

Northrop Grumman awarded mission support services contract

The U.S. Army awarded Northrop Grumman a cost-plus-fixed-fee contract, with a potential value of $205 million, to continue providing mission logistics services in support of combat brigades training at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif. The contract covers one base year and two one-year options. Support will include the full range of mission...
 
 
Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom

F-35 Rollout Marks U.S.-Australia Partnership Milestone

Lockheed Martin photograph by Beth Groom Royal Australian Air Force Air Marshal Geoff Brown delivers his remarks at the roll out ceremony for Australia’s first F-35. The official rollout of the first two F-35 Lightning II...
 
 
NASA/JPL-Caltech image

NASA’s Mars spacecraft maneuvers to prepare for close comet flyby

NASA/JPL-Caltech image This graphic depicts the orbit of comet C/2013 A1 Siding Spring as it swings around the sun in 2014. On Oct. 19, the comet will have a very close pass at Mars. Its nucleus will miss Mars by about 82,000 m...
 




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>