DVIDS – Information – 86th MXS, 86th AMXS restore damaged wings

The 86th Maintenance Squadron and the 86th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron have teamed up to overhaul a C-130J Super Hercules aircraft after it was decommissioned by an accident last year.

“The aircraft suffered a hard landing that may damage the wings or structure of the aircraft,” said Master Sgt. Paul Weeks, 86th MXS maintenance flight assistant.

Before the 86th MXS and 86th AMXS could touch the aircraft, an investigation was initiated to determine why the hard landing occurred, what parts need replacing, and to ensure the safety of the maintenance crew who would be performing the repairs.

“After the investigation was complete, we worked with our aircraft engineers to determine what exactly needed to be fixed and to make sure it was safe to begin our work,” said Weeks.

Airmen assigned to the 86th MXS and 86th AMXS spent approximately 1,900 man-hours ensuring the aircraft could return to the mission. They trusted in the ability of every aviator to carry out all repairs on every damaged component without having to outsource the job.

“In terms of group effort, almost everyone from every aspect of the maintenance career worked together to fix this aircraft,” said Weeks. “Every gear had to be inspected and several components had to be replaced.”

Ultimately, three engines and four propellers were replaced along with several other key components of the aircraft.

“We had to wait a lot,” said Tech. Sgt.Christopher Torres, 86th MXS aerospace maintenance craftsman. “The force from the impact of an aircraft that lands too hard on its tires or struts can stress critical components from the main landing gear to the wings.”

The maintenance team inspected very small areas and moving parts of the hardware that were not normally removed during daily maintenance. They also used technology to scan the plane for cracks that were not visible to the naked eye.

“Our maintenance staff generally have a wide range of skills and experience to get the job done. So we were able to do most, if not all, of the repairs here at Ramstein. ”
Weeks said.

It took 12 hours from start to finish to remove and replace the aircraft’s two engines. Almost all maintenance planes worked eight-hour shifts five days a week to get the repairs done as quickly as possible. Repairs of this magnitude were a first for many of the planes.

“Some of my jobs included multiple inspections of turbines, compressors, gear sections, and engines to identify possible corrosion, broken blades in the engine, or broken gears,” said Senior Airman Hunter Havens, 86th MXS journeyman, aerospace propulsion.

It took about seven months for the plane to get back in the air, including investigating how the mishap occurred. The maintenance crew began repairs in late October 2020 and the aircraft was approved for flight by December 2020.

During the maintenance of the aircraft, the 86th MXS and 86th AMXS have proven that any of their Airmen can do any job they ask.

“This Class A mishap has put people out of their element, out of their comfort zone,” said Torres. “We had a great team, everyone has experience with every job. Organization and communication were critical to the effectiveness of our team. Our team has learned from this and we would have a plan to address the problem if this happens again. ”

Recording date: 03.09.2021
Release Date: 03.09.2021 07:56
Story ID: 390895
Place: RAMSTEIN AIR BASE, RP, DE
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