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 April 24, 2015

News: More than $1 billion in U.S. emergency reconstruction aid goes missing in Afghanistan - A total of $1.3 billion that the Pentagon shipped to its force commanders in Afghanistan between 2004 and 2014 for the most critical reconstruction projects can’t be accounted for by the Defense Department, 60 percent of all such spending under an...
 
 

News Briefs April 24, 2015

German defense minister: widely used rifle has no future A widely used assault rifle has “no future” with the German military in its current form, Germany’s defense minister said April 22, escalating a dispute over the weapon’s alleged shortcomings. Ursula von der Leyen said last month that a study showed the G36 rifle has a...
 
 
Army photograph

Composites key to tougher, lighter armaments

Army photograph XM-360 test firing at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., in 2007, is shown. The Army is on the cusp of revolutionizing materials that go into armament construction, making for stronger, lighter and more durable weapo...
 

 

Northrop Grumman signs long-term agreement with Raytheon

Northrop Grumman has entered a long-term agreement with Raytheon to supply its LN-200 Inertial Measurement Unit for Raytheon optical targeting systems. The long-term agreement with Raytheon’s Space and Airborne Systems business extends through 2018. The LN-200 provides camera stabilization on optical targeting systems that conduct long-range surveillance and target acquisition for various...
 
 

NTTR supports first F-35B integration into USMC’s weapons school exercise

The Nevada Test and Training Range was part of history April 21, when four U.S. Marine Corps-assigned F-35B Lightning IIs participated in its first Marine Corps’ Final Exercise of the Weapons and Tactics Instructor course on the NTTR’s ranges. The Final Exercise, or FINEX, is the capstone event to the U.S. Marine Corps Marine Aviation...
 
 
AAR-Textron

AAR awarded new contract from Bell Helicopter Textron to support T64 engines

AAR announced April 22 that Bell Helicopter Textron Inc. awarded its Defense Systems & Logistics business unit a contract providing warehouse and logistics services in support of upgrading T64 engines for the Bell V-280 Val...
 




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>