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Rusty Painter, 560th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron aircraft electrician, cleans corrosion from a circuit breaker faceplate to ensure aircrews are able to read it when needed. (U.S. Air Force photo by Ray Crayton)
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Work steadily continues on Afghan AF-bound C-130H

Posted 4/25/2014   Updated 4/25/2014 Email story   Print story


by Jenny Gordon
Robins Public Affairs

4/25/2014 - ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. -- When a C-130H nose was separated from its fuselage at Robins March 6, it was the culmination of months of extensive research, planning and homework.

What makes this particular effort significant is this C-130H model is one of two currently on station scheduled to be delivered to the Afghan Air Force to help boost the country's military capabilities.

The disassembly process was a successful endeavor by maintainers from the 402nd Aircraft Maintenance Group and an engineering team from the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center.

The moment the 9,000-pound section pulled away, it was a clean break.

Along with various engine cables, electrical, hydraulic and other components, a total of 364 bolts had been manually removed, one by one, some more easily than others.

Since then, each of the 728 holes which held those 364 bolts, representing holes from the nose and airframe's mating surfaces, have been put through nondestructive testing techniques to check for corrosion and cracks. The holes are similar in size to a dime, and must be cleaned, inspected and measured.

There are 25 holes on the airframe and 12 holes on the nose that will require special work where Bush-Locs will be installed to help rid the holes of cracks. The Bush-Locs are being manufactured here and will be installed prior to marrying a new donor nose to the aircraft.

Its nose experienced major structural damage due to a hard landing. Separated last month, the nose sits just a few feet away, ready to be installed on a second aircraft which will be used as a training fixture for maintainers with the 402nd Expeditionary Depot Maintenance team.

The donor nose is steps away from the AAF-bound aircraft, propped up by a special dolly designed here.

It is estimated to be joined to its new airframe within the next week to 10 days, according to Scott Latimer, 560th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron's Center Wing Box Fixtures team lead.

"At the same time, we are also prepping the aircraft to receive a corrosion preventative compound," he said. "We're doing an isochronal inspection which will require about 900 total hours."

If all goes as planned, a 'dry' run will be performed this week when the donor nose will be fitted to the fuselage to see how close each hole will align.

"We don't anticipate any problems," said Latimer.

Once that happens, a sealant will be meticulously applied to the surface surrounding each of the 728 holes to create a sealed barrier. Things will then move quickly at that point when bolts will begin to be installed through each hole.

A second C-130H bound for Afghanistan is also at Robins currently undergoing a standard programmed depot maintenance package.

To view additional photos, visit or the Robins Facebook page.

4/27/2014 1:13:51 PM ET
It is a pleasure to see that the C130 program is still finding ways to prove that RAFB has the very best people in the world.
thomas w holder, off base
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