Robins High Velocity Maintenance team aims to keep aircraft available

  • Published
  • By Lisa Mathews
  • Warner Robins Air Logistics Center
A team of experts has been working on a plan to increase aircraft availability. The High Velocity Maintenance High Performance Team's goal is to increase aircraft availability using Air Force Smart Operations for the 21st Century tools to establish a synchronized, integrated end-to-end process so that maintenance does not impact mission requirements.

Jerry Mobley, the team's lead, said HVM would require all involved with the aircraft to work together so there is less time spent on maintenance and more time the planes can be in the air serving the warfighter. This will include better tracking of all aspects of the aircraft's condition with information shared by the home station of the aircraft and the air logistics center where the programmed depot maintenance takes place.

This shared information will allow for all parts and equipment needed for the maintenance of the aircraft to be in place as soon as the plane arrives at Robins so there is little or no wait time for the PDM to begin, Mr. Mobley said. By ensuring a better understanding of all the work needed to complete the PDM of an aircraft, parts can be kitted on site, technical data can be in place, tools and equipment can be on hand and all pre-positioned so that the mechanic can come in each day and immediately begin work. This should ensure a decrease in time spent by the mechanic looking for the things needed to do their job.

"We want to have a mechanic-centric focus," Mr. Mobley said.

The team is also analyzing how to optimize all enabling processes such as requirements identification, funding and materials.

Another area the group believes could shave downtime for the aircraft is to realign the inspections process. The HVM team is researching the possibility of aligning the isometric inspections currently being done by the home station mechanics on aircraft to be rolled up into the PDM work here at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center.

"We already do numerous inspections here, so it would not add much time to complete the ISO inspection into the PDM," Mr. Mobley said. The team believes this could shave anywhere from nine to 20 days from the downtime of the aircraft.

The Air Force Special Operations Command's C-130 aircraft has been selected as the pilot program to test the HVM process. This will begin in late spring or early summer 2008. Following the pilot testing of the process, the team expects the process to be exported across the entire C-130 fleet. Following this, the processes could be used for other weapons systems.

The implementation of the HVM process would be done in spirals. As technology, such as on-board systems diagnostics and automated data analysis become available, this could be incorporated into the HVM process.