Losses and Aviation Safety

HERE’S HOW MISSOURI AIR NATIONAL GUARD AIRMEN REMOVED C-130 HERCULES “TAIL” FOR FIRST TIME

Missouri Air National Guard Airmen remove C-130 tail

Taken on Feb. 7, 2017 the interesting photos in this post feature U.S. Airmen from the 139th Maintenance Squadron, Missouri Air National Guard (ANG), removing the vertical stabilizer from a C-130 Hercules aircraft at Rosecrans Air National Guard Base (ANGB), St. Joseph.

Noteworthy the stabilizer was removed in order to fix a crack on a support structure on which the stabilizer sits.

“In my 20 years of working on these planes, I’ve never removed a tail before,” said Gregory, who is a crew chief assigned to the 139th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron.

The damaged structure could not be found in the Air Force supply system, so the maintainers had to fabricate it themselves. That involved creating a metal structure from scratch including a die, or mold, of the structure they needed to create. Once the dies were made, the extrusion [metal] had to be softened, bent in the dies, and then re-hardened to finish the part.

“We never have to worry about fixing anything because their expertise is phenomenal,” said Senior Master Sgt. Terry Ramseier, the fabrication section supervisor, referring to the maintainers.

Ramseier said the tail came off flawlessly. The tail remained off for a week allowing the maintainers to fabricate and install the part.

“Really proud of these guys, they did a great job,” he said.

Source: Maintainers remove tail for first time by Master Sgt. Michael Crane 139th Airlift Wing; Photo credit: Master Sgt. Michael Crane / U.S. Air National Guard

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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