Four F-22 Raptors in transient from Savannah, Ga., to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, were diverted to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz., March 1.
The Raptors were diverted due to a complication in meeting with their refueling tanker.
“When the Hickam birds were coming in, it just so happened that we had F-22 crew chiefs already on the flightline for the Heritage Flight Training Course” said TSgt. Harrison Southworth, Air Combat Command F-22 Raptor crew chief. “We jumped at the opportunity to help out our brethren.”
The F-22 Demonstration team from Langley Air Force Base, V.A. was here participating in Air Combat Command’s Heritage Flight Training Course 2014 and was able to recover the aircraft upon arrival.
Three of the Raptors’ right side tires deflated as a safety precaution upon landing due to an increase in tire pressure caused by both the weather conditions and landing friction.
In order to make it to their destination, a maintenance recovery team from Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., traveled six hours to replace the F-22’s tires since Davis-Monthan AFB isn’t equipped to support Raptors.
The team brought an F-22 specific tripod jack, axel jack and three tires in order to complete the repair.
“The F-22 is very specific. It has a lot of its own type of equipment,” said MSgt. Jason D. Wollerton, Holloman Air Force Base, N.M., 49th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron production superintendent.
The ACC Demonstration team worked with the Holloman crew to replace the tires. Once all of the equipment arrived, each tire took an average of 30 minutes to replace.
“It was a pleasant surprise to see the Raptor Demo crew chiefs and specialists out there to meet us,” said Lt. Col. Robert Jackson, Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam, Hawaii, 19th Fighter Squadron commander, and pilot of one of the diverted aircraft. “They were a huge help.”
The combined team effort between the ACC Demonstration Team, Holloman AFB and D-M allowed the four F-22 Raptors to complete their mission the following day.