Checking Them Twice and Then Some

Desert duty is taking its toll on USAF aircraft. Take for example, the A-10s of Air Force Reserve Command’s 442nd Fighter Wing, Whiteman AFB, Mo., which a wing news release says get a complete once over upon their return from Southwest Asia. First to go is “desert residue,” says crew chief TSgt. Randy Magnuson, explaining that he means four month’s worth of beige, powdery dust that seeps through any crevice. While the aircraft are deployed, maintenance planners at Whiteman track daily any work done on the A-10s to aid them in keeping the routine maintenance program on schedule. Maintainers at Whiteman must replace 76 parts at varying frequencies and conduct 57 time-sensitive inspections for each aircraft. Schedulers SMSgt. Nori Turner and TSgt. Tami Goodhart project the schedule three months in advance, watching out for the odd activities that only every 13 years. Goodhart says, “We specialize in preventive maintenance. The more we prevent, the less we have to fix.”