Home away from Home: Ready for the next step

  • Published
  • By Jenny Gordon
  • Robins Public Affairs
During the next several months, Robins Public Affairs will document the programmed depot maintenance of one C-130H from Yokota Air Base, Japan. We'll highlight various stages of the process, telling the stories of the people and   organizations which make the mission happen here every day.  

It takes more than just sweet talk and elbow grease to remove a few flight controls from a C-130H.

Since arriving at its Warner Robins Air Logistics Complex home away from home about a month ago, the aircraft - one of 19 currently undergoing PDM here - is ready for its next adventure on the Robins flight line.

During the first week of the month, following induction, it continued its movement through Gate 1, where a multitude of procedures takes place to ready it for the next gate.

At this stage for example, its flight controls were removed by mechanics in the 560th Aircraft Maintenance Squadron. Two shifts worked the preparation and removal of the aircraft's rudder, elevators and ailerons. The work is always subject to weather conditions.

That's because a rainstorm for example, could delay crane operations needed to lift an aileron away from the aircraft, while other flight control systems are removed.

"We flow in a pattern when it comes to removing flight controls. We hook the crane up, tie ropes and have everything roped off. It's the same routine each time," said James Guy, 560th AMXS aircraft mechanic.

A prior shift had prepared the site for the removal of the aircraft's right aileron, which can take anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half. 

The process to remove the aileron itself took less than 15 minutes once a few final bolts were removed. Six workers joined in the brief operation. 

Other items removed during the disassembly process included aft nacelles, wing pylon tanks, cargo ramp and gear doors. 

All part of a 7-gate structure currently in use across the Air Force Sustainment Center, which includes the complex, the first gate involved induction procedures as well as various preparation operations. Gate 1 was completed Sept. 5. Next up will be Gate 2 where the aircraft will undergo a depaint and wash procedure in Bldg. 54. Stay tuned.