Losses and Aviation Safety


The gigantic C-5M required six fuselage jacks to hold it: each jack can hold 60 tons, over all providing support for 720,000 pounds.

Taken on May 3, 2017 at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, the curious images in this post feature a C-5M Super Galaxy airlifter from Travis Air Force Base (AFB), Calif., resting on six fuselage jacks for main landing gear because the aircraft number four main landing gear malfunctioned during the aircraft’s landing at Ramstein.

“We were coming down to land, the pilots threw the gear down and the number four main landing gear did not extend, so they had to emergency extend it,” said Staff Sgt. Cesar Mardirossian, 60th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron (AMXS) flying crew chief to Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh, 86th Airlift Wing, in the article 721 AMXS gets wheels off the ground for C-5 maintenance. “We were able to land safely and we had to jack the aircraft.”

Mardirossian worked alongside Airmen assigned to the 721st AMXS to jack, inspect, and repair the aircraft’s landing gear.

“When it came down, we towed it onto its spot to make sure everything was still good,” explained Staff Sgt. Brian Crea, 721st AMXS airlift specialist mission maintenance craftsman. “We got it outside the hangar, did our inspection on it to make sure everything was good, and prepared everything to tow it into the hangar and jack it up.”

Noteworthy as it can be seen the gigantic C-5M required six fuselage jacks to hold it, two in the nose, two in the middle, and two in the aft. Each jack can hold 60 tons, over all providing support for 720,000 pounds. A typical C-5 weighs 415,000 pounds, but six jacks were used for stability.

Upon inspection, the 721st AMXS and 60th AMXS Airmen determined the landing gear needed a new handle. They installed it and proceeded to perform a function check on every gear. For a C-5, the nose landing gear is allowed 20 seconds each to extend and retract, while the remaining four gears are allowed 22 seconds to extend and 17 to contract.

The next step was to check the caster function, which allows gears to turn left or right, for the nose and aft gears. They turned the nose gear to extreme left and right, and the two back gears were turned left, center, and, right simultaneously and individually to ensure they could reach the required 20 degrees.

“They came to center. They castered. Everything was good, and they worked in unison. Nothing was stuttering,” Crea pointed out. “Up to this point, we have no reason to believe the aircraft is not serviceable anymore.”

This print is available in multiple sizes from AircraftProfilePrints.com – CLICK HERE TO GET YOURS. C-5M Super Galaxy 60th Air Mobility Wing, 349th Air Mobility Wing, 22nd Airlift Squadron, 07-0042 – Travis AFB, CA

It has been over a year since the 721st AMXS has had a C-5 raised on a full fuselage jack.

“It’s always amazing to see the things we do,” Crea said. “We lifted this huge aircraft off the ground, and now we’re going to swing the gears and everything is going to shake, and it’s going to stay up.”

Photo credit: Senior Airman Tryphena Mayhugh / U.S. Air Force

Artwork courtesy of AircraftProfilePrints.com

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

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